Natural Gas Furnace vs Heat Pump
I live in Gainesville, FL which has pretty mild winters but it does freeze on occasion. My home currently has 2 systems (upstairs and downstairs) each consisting of a Carrier gas furnace / air handler and a 2 1/2 ton Carrier AC system.
I am wanting to replace all of this equipment since it is 14 years old and was bottom of the line builders grade in the first place.
We spoke with one potential supplier last night and were told that we should replace the gas furnaces with heat pumps, that we would save a lot of energy costs by doing that. I have a hard time believing this is right. During the winter we sometimes use as much as $45 worth of natural gas per month for heating, but during the summer the AC portion of our electric bill often times tops $450.
Is a heat pump really more efficient than a natural gas furnace for heating? That just doesn't seem right to me.
The Carrier guy has a program on his iPad or laptop that will show you the operating costs of different combinations of equipment based on the electric and gas rates in your area.
He can match 4 different combinations of equipment side by side. It can be done in seconds so there is no guessing.
Depends on efficiency both furnace and HP as well as electric and nat gas rate.
Give me your rates and I will run some comparison numbers for you.
The economic balance point for a 80% efficient furnace compared to a heat pump can range from around 20-45F depending on electric rates, gas ratesand equipment effciency. At my home it's about 20F off-peak and 40F on-peak right now.
Personally, I like the comfort of having additonal stages of heat in mild weather. Even a properly sized modulating furnace will still cycle on-off over 35-40F in a cold climate.