Choosing the best method of heating your home will depend on both the climate of your region and your budget.  Here in Southeast Texas, our mild winters can often come with several weeks of really cold days. That is why people normally have their ac repairs done soon as they see indications or signs of a problem.

Homes in Sugar Land are heated and cooled with forced-air systems.  These systems give homeowners two options for heating your home, gas, or electricity. Here we share the pros and cons of these options to help you decide which is best for your home. 

Home Heating System Is Important in Two Ways

Using the most efficient option for your home leaves a smaller carbon footprint and save you money.  Our state ranks pretty high on energy usage around our nation.   You don’t have to change all of your habits, you can achieve energy efficiency by using the best heating option for your home. Making sure that you make energy-efficient choices can save you hundreds each year on utility costs, which includes ac repair and maintenance.

The Benefits of Gas

A gas furnace combusts air and fuel, this exhaust heats the air in your home.  Gas is the heating choice for some in Sugar Land for a few reasons.  The heat reaches all of the corners of your home more quickly with gas.  A gas furnace can deliver the heat immediately when the boilers are activated.  Once your home is warmed, you could turn the heater off and stay warm if your home is well insulated. The electric option takes time to get to their max heat.  Also, electric heating systems utilize low-temperature cutoff.  A gas furnace or boiler keeps going no matter how cold it gets outside. 

A cozy fire sends warmth around the room and sets the perfect winter scene.  You can achieve that with a gas fireplace without having to tend to the wood in the fire.  Some people think that cooking with gas gives you better results.  

The Benefits of Electric

Electric heating also has advantages.  Electrical heating systems offer 100% efficiency, meaning 100% of the electricity used becomes heat for your home.  Excess gas is produced when heating with a gas furnace. When you are using just electric you have one bill to deal with for powering all devices in your home.   

Electric heating systems give you the option to deliver heat to only rooms that need the heat at that time.  Space heaters and ductless HVAC systems are both examples of giving you the option to control the heat in each room giving everyone personal comfort and saving money. 

Electric heating systems are also compatible with solar panels as they are able to accommodate the connected energy storage battery. 

Choosing Between a Furnace or a Heat Pump

Furnace options include gas or electric.  While you don’t always need the power that comes with a furnace since we often just need a little heat to keep us comfortable.  It can use a ton of energy no matter the outside temperatures. A gas furnace would operate by pilot light.  The heat would go into the heat exchanger that heats your air and deliver it through your air ducts.  The electric furnace would use an ignition, shooting currents into coils that are heated.   

Heat pumps work perfectly for our southern winters.  And they provide both heating and cooling options in one complete unit.  There is no need for having an a/c and a furnace.  A heat pump is comprised of an outside unit, much like the air conditioning unit that sits beside your home.  It is similar to the a/c unit but it has what is called a reversing valve.  This is what switches the flow of the refrigerant that condenses in the home that releases the heat.  The other component of the heat pump is the inside unit called a walled cassette.  This part uses a fan to blow hot air into the home. What was once used as the refrigerant evaporator in the summer will work as a condenser in the winter, warming the air as it passes by.    

Both options will work in your Sugar Land home but there are many reasons that a heat pump makes a better choice:

  • Safety – With no combustion occurring as with a furnace, you don’t have the toxic chemicals produced like carbon monoxide. 
  • Peace and Quiet – Heat pumps don’t have the noise that results from the sound of the air being pushed through your ducts that comes with furnaces.   
  • Cost – Installing a heat pump is less expensive with just an outdoor and indoor unit that is needed. 
  • Energy Efficiency and Very Green – The heat pump uses electricity and refrigerant to transfer heat.  Furnaces have to produce the heat, requiring more energy.  Heat pumps are more efficient and use 50% less electricity than you would with an electric furnace.  

No Matter which System You Choose – Consider these energy-saving Tips

  • Reduce air conditioning usage with blinds and curtains.  In the summer they keep the heat out and in the winter they keep the heat in. 
  • Open your windows – on those nice days and get fresh air circulating through the house and turn your heating or cooling system off. 
  • Find a new setting – adjust your temperature and try different settings to get the right setting that will also use less energy.  
  • Run your ceiling fans –   They can cool a room by four degrees, so let them spin while you are occupying the room. 
  • Use Auto – Make sure you are running the a/c on “auto” and not “on”. 
  • Keep your ac clean – Make sure that you have a regular cleaning to prevent problems and frequent ac repair.
  • Choose energy-efficient units – when you are ready to replace your unit choose a new one with a high Seasonal Energy Efficient Ration rating.  The higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit will be.  Look to have a 90% or higher Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) when choosing a new furnace. 

Get in touch with your Howell Services HVAC and Plumbing professional today to help you decide for the heating system is best for your home in Sugar Land. 

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