Homes across the U.S. are heated in various ways depending on climate and affordability. In the South most homes are heated using a forced-air system. This is because with a forced-air system the ductwork used to distribute warm air to your house can also distribute cold air during the summer time.
Because AC is such a necessity in the South, especially in Texas, the forced-air HVAC system tends to be the most popular choice for heating and cooling one’s home.
When the weather gets cold, the home furnace helps warm the circulating air in your home. When dealing with a forced-air system in the South there are 2 main types of furnaces: gas and electric heat pump.
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Here are the pros and cons of both and how they work:
With a gas furnace, the air in your home is warmed by combusting a mixture of air and fuel. The resulting exhaust is then used to heat the circulating air of your home before being release outside through vents. Gas furnaces are thought to be more reliable and depending on where you live the price of natural gas can be cheaper than electricity.
Electric Heat Pump
With an electric heat pump, your heater works similarly to your air conditioner, which uses an outdoor compressor and indoor blower to adjust the temperature of your indoor air. When you turn your thermostat to heat, the process that’s used to cool your home in summer is reversed. The indoor coil that is used as the refrigerant evaporator will now work as a condenser, which warms the circulating air passing by.
Electric heat pumps are considered very efficient and cheap to install if you’ve already got the AC ductwork. However, during periods of extreme cold, your electric heat pump may not heat your home as well as a gas furnace. This should be considered for those living in colder climates.
For more information about the best home heating options, check out: