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Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for the best choice in a heating and cooling system. Since this isn’t a routine purchase, it’s smart to do some research, but conflicting opinions found online may just cloud the situation. Let Senica Air Conditioning, Inc. help. Here’s a rundown of the basics.

How Does a Furnace Work?

Most U.S. homes are heated by gas- or oil-burning furnaces. Electric versions are also available. These closed systems operate by pulling in air, heating it and then forcing it back through the ductwork and into the house. New systems are required to run at a minimum of about 80 percent efficiency; better models stretch to 95 percent efficiency or higher. 

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

Despite the name, heat pumps are capable of warming or cooling a home. These units don’t actually create heat. Instead, heat is collected from outside air and transferred into the home. The system works in reverse during the summer to cool the air inside. In most homes, electric pumps are effective at maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature until the outside temp starts dropping below 40 degrees. Geothermal models, another option, pull heat from underground. This makes them more energy efficient and more effective in chilly weather than their air-sourced counterparts. 

Energy Efficiency Considerations 

  • Costs: A high-efficiency heat pump often has a higher cost up front for equipment and installation. Electricity may be more affordable than natural gas, however, making it less costly to operate. Because systems in FL run nearly year-round, expect more wear and tear on the equipment and the possibility of a shorter lifespan. 
  • Winter temperatures: When the temperature outside hits freezing, a heat pump won’t be able to keep up. You’ll need a plan for a backup heat supply. A split dual-fuel system could be the right choice. In this scenario, you might choose to save money by installing a less efficient furnace since winters aren’t extreme here.
  • Warmth of the delivered air: Air from a pump is generally a little cooler than body temperature, so it can seem drafty or cold as it blows into the room. Air from a furnace is heated above 100 degrees, so it tends to feel warmer on the skin.
  • General: The size and age of the home, the site characteristics and the availability and cost of fuels must also factor into the purchase decision. The right choice in Clearwater may not be the best setup in another part of FL. 

Senica Air Conditioning, Inc. provides free in-home consultations with knowledgeable, certified HVAC professionals. We’ve been installing and repairing heating and cooling systems in the Clearwater area since 1974, and we know what it takes to stay comfortable. We’ll assess your home and existing systems, discuss your goals for climate control and then present our recommendations. We’ll explain all of the features of each product so that you can make an educated decision. Special financing options with approved credit may be available to help with your budget. Contact us today to set up your appointment.

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