Home electrification is a much-discussed topic nowadays as more and more people are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Electrification refers to moving away from gas-burning appliances and switching to cleaner, more energy-efficient electric options, such as replacing a gas water heater with an electric or heat pump water heater. As far as HVAC systems go, electrification means switching out a gas furnace for a heat pump or even using a ductless mini-split in place of a gas fireplace to heat part of your home.
The Benefits of Electrifying Your HVAC System
Gas furnaces are an effective option for heating your home. The only issue is that furnaces and all other gas-burning appliances produce quite a bit of carbon emissions. This is the reason that the US federal government and many state and local governments have started pushing for home electrification, as it will help in their efforts to reduce carbon emissions and combat the effects of climate change. As part of this push, there are now many incentives available for anyone who upgrades their home with a heat pump. For instance, there is currently a federal tax credit that can be worth up to $2,000 when you have a qualifying heat pump installed.
Upgrading from a gas furnace to an electric heat pump is one of the easiest ways to reduce your home’s emissions and lower your carbon footprint, but this is far from the only benefit electrifying your HVAC system will provide. Installing a heat pump can also greatly reduce your yearly heating costs, as heat pumps are by far the most energy-efficient heating option currently available. Another thing to consider is that heat pumps will provide both heating and cooling, which means you could use this type of unit in place of both your existing furnace and air conditioner.
The best, most efficient gas furnaces currently on the market have an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of around 98.5%. This means that 98.5% of the gas that the furnace burns is directly converted into heat, and only 1.5% of the energy is wasted. Electric furnaces are slightly better as they are always 100% efficient, which means they convert electricity into heat energy at a one-to-one ratio. The only issue with electric furnaces is that they use a huge amount of electricity, and this is especially true in places like Missouri, where the winters can sometimes be bitterly cold.
Heat pumps work differently as they don’t directly convert electricity into heat. Instead, the electricity is used to power the unit’s heat transfer process. This process works by using cold refrigerant to capture heat energy from outside, and this heat energy is then transferred inside to raise the temperature of the air flowing through the duct system. This process allows heat pumps to be 200 or even 300% efficient, which means that every unit of electricity the unit consumes is converted into two or three units of heat energy.
Another way to electrify your home’s heating is to install a ductless mini-split system, which is also a type of heat pump. The difference is that mini-splits have individual indoor air handler units that heat each room instead of relying on a central air handler and ductwork to circulate heat throughout the building. Mini-splits are ideal for homes or rooms without an existing central heating system, and they can also be a great choice for supplementing your existing heating.
Safer, Cleaner Heating
Another advantage of using a central heat pump or mini-split is that they are much safer compared to a gas furnace or even electric baseboard heaters. With furnaces and electric heaters, there is always a small risk that the unit could start a fire, and this risk is almost completely eliminated when using any type of heat pump.
Gas furnaces and other gas appliances also produce carbon monoxide, and there is also always a chance that the carbon monoxide could leak back inside the home and potentially lead to severe illness or even death. Heat pumps are also safer in this regard since they don’t produce carbon monoxide or any other harmful emissions.
At Bone Heating & Cooling, we can help if you’re looking to electrify your home’s HVAC system. We install a wide range of heat pumps and ductless mini-splits, and we can also help if you’re looking to switch from a gas water heater to an electric unit. We also offer a full range of other heating, air conditioning, and ductwork services, and we serve customers in Festus and throughout the St. Louis area. For more information on the benefits of electrifying your home, contact the experts at Bone Heating & Cooling today.