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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Replacing outdated heating and cooling equipment gives you an opportunity to improve efficiency and increase energy savings. Perhaps you've heard about the benefits of heat pump technology, but you're wondering whether a heat pump, furnace or a hybrid is the best choice. To help you decide, let's look at all three options.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps run on electricity, but they don't consume energy to heat or cool. Instead, they transfer warmth already present in the air between the inside of a home and the outdoors. In the summer, heat pumps pull warmth from the indoor air and expel it outside. When the seasons change and the temperature drops, they reverse operation to draw warmth from the outdoor air to heat a living space. When the outdoor temperature drops to about 32 degrees, there's no longer enough ambient heat available to keep a home comfortably warm.


In our climate, a furnace is a necessity to keep a home cozy throughout the winter. It's often paired with a central air conditioner in a split system so comfort is maintained year round. Today's efficient gas furnaces can provide annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings of over 96 percent.

Hybrid Heating Systems

Previously, heat pumps were usually equipped with electric resistance heat strips to supply auxiliary heat when temperatures dipped below the balance point. Today, hybrid units are available that combine a heat pump with a furnace. Homeowners with a hybrid system can reap the energy savings provided by an efficient heat pump throughout the summer and milder shoulder seasons.

During periods of extremely cold weather, the system automatically transitions from the heat pump to the furnace to ensure maximum comfort and maintain efficiency. Hybrid heating systems are an environmentally friendly choice as well, since heat pump technology can be relied on for a good portion of the year, fuel consumption is minimized.

For expert advice about whether a heat pump, furnace or a hybrid is the best choice for your Illinois home, contact us today.

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