Nothing lasts forever, even a meticulously maintained HVAC system. If your home comfort system is more than a decade old, and you’re experiencing higher utility bills and expensive repairs, it may be time to consider a replacement. It is also time to consider a heat pump rather than a traditional gas furnace. How do you know if it’s the right time to switch to a heat pump? Ernst Heating & Cooling of Hamel, IL, can help you make this critical decision.
Repair or replace?
With the winter holidays upon us, nobody wants to think about purchasing a new HVAC unit. At Ernst Heating & Cooling, we get it. Our job is to help you make the best decision for the long-term comfort of your home and family. If your system poses a danger to your family or is considerably less efficient than newer models, you may want to consider a replacement. If your system is energy efficient and the repair estimate is less than a third of the replacement cost, you can restore the heat with a timely repair. Our experienced HVAC technicians can help you make this critical decision. Remember, savings can balance out the upfront cost of a new unit on future energy bills. Ernst Heating & Cooling also offers convenient financing, which allows you to pay for the new unit over time.
A heat pump or furnace
Heat pumps have been in the headlines since the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 was passed earlier this year. The act includes incentives to reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels. Because heat pumps use electricity rather than natural gas or coal, they have been touted as an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient alternative to traditional furnaces.
Heat pumps draw heat from the outside air and bring it indoors. You may think there’s no available heat when the weather outside is frightful, but heat pumps can redistribute heat by pumping it through a system of coils and a compressor that isolates the heat and brings it inside. During the warmer months, the direction is reversed, and warm air inside your home is moved outside, allowing cool comfort.
On the other hand, furniture uses fuel like gas to heat the air from outside and distribute it throughout your home. If you want cool air in the summer, you’ll need to install a separate A/C unit.
But can heat pumps handle the arctic air that sometimes makes its way into the Metro East area? Yes and no. The traditional heat pump mechanism only operates as efficiently when temperatures fall below freezing. But it will continue to heat your home, although you may want to talk to your Ernst Heating & Cooling HVAC technician about a dual-fuel system, where a gas furnace kicks in as a backup.
What about costs?
Heat pumps tend to cost more than traditional gas furnaces. However, homeowners may notice a decrease in their energy bills, especially as fossil fuel costs skyrocket. Remember that Inflation Reduction Act? Depending on your income, you may be eligible for tax credits or rebates on a new heat pump. The details are still being ironed out, but we anticipate understanding more about how the new act affects heat pump costs later in 2023.
When is the right time to upgrade to a heat pump?
Ideally, you schedule regular maintenance calls for your HVAC equipment. This allows your Ernst Heating & Cooling HVAC technician to keep an eye on your unit and let you know when it might be nearing the end of its natural lifespan. Nobody wants to wake up to a cold house during a January freeze, so it’s better to be proactive when upgrading your unit. At Ernst Heating & Cooling, we take pride in understanding the complex considerations surrounding a decision to upgrade. We’ll give you our honest opinion with flat-rate pricing and no undue pressure to decide immediately.
Cold weather is coming. If you want to know more about heat pumps – or if you need to schedule a heating tune-up to ensure the system is ready for winter – call Ernst Heating & Cooling now at 618.217.1836 or schedule an appointment online. Your family’s total comfort is our goal.