Should You Install A Ground-Source Heat Pump Or A Condensing Furnace?
In order to heat your home, you need to choose the right equipment to heat your home. The most popular choice for heating a home is a furnace, and if this is the route you choose to go, you should buy a condensing furnace. On the other hand, if you are in search of the most energy-efficient way to heat your home, look no further than a ground-source heat pump.
Why Choose a Condensing Furnace?
A conventional furnace will have one heat exchanger, which will channel the exhaust gases created by burning fuel toward your vent pipe. Your furnace fan will blow heat over the exchanger, and the air will absorb heat from the gases flowing through it. This is how a furnace heats your home. The weakness in this design is that the furnace has to leave enough heat in the exhaust gases that they can still rise out of your home through the vent pipe.
A condensing furnace will have two heat exchangers that will extract so much heat from the exhaust gases that they will convert to a liquid. They will then need to drain out of the furnace through a pipe designed for that purpose. Because they are able to extract so much heat from the fuel burned, condensing furnaces can reach efficiency levels of up to 98%. While this is impressive, a ground-source heat pump can do better.
The Ground-Source Heat Pump
A heat pump absorbs heat from either the air or the earth and then pumps that heat into your home. Air-source heat pumps are limited by how much heat is present in the air outside your home. Because air temperatures are constantly fluctuating, the efficiency of your heat pump is never constant. On the other hand, the temperature around ten feet below the earth's surface will remain a constant 50° year round. A ground-source heat pump will tap into these constant temperatures through specially designed coils that are buried beneath the earth's surface. A heat pump thus designed can reach efficiency levels of up to 600%.
If you are looking for the cheapest way to heat your home, a ground-source heat pump is a good choice even though it will cost significantly more than a furnace to install. However, if you don't have the money available to install a heat pump, then a condensing furnace will still give you good value at a more affordable price. Contact an HVAC contractor near you for more information.