Your central heating system is designed in one of two ways – either a gas furnace or an electric heat pump. A gas furnace will operate independent from the rest of the HVAC system. While a heat pump uses the reverse cycle of the air conditioner, so that all of the components are working year round. The air handler blower can be single-stage in basic systems or variable-speed in high-efficiency systems. All of these components to your heating system need to be carefully matched together during installation. A mismatched system will operate poorly and, in some cases, not operate at all.
The Heat Pumps: If you use only electricity to heat and cool your home then a heat pump is the most energy efficient system that you can use for indoor comfort. Heat pumps provide three times more heating than the equivalent amount of energy they consume. Heat pumps also do double duty as your home’s air conditioner. A high-efficiency heat pump can decrease the amount of electricity you use for heating by as much as 30%-40%.
The Furnance: The standard furnace today operates at 80% efficiency, meaning that for every dollar you spend on gas 20% is discarded as Carbon Monoxide and 80% is brought into your home as heat. In colder climates, you can purchase systems at up to 98% gas efficiency.
The Air Ducts: Today’s duct work in Tucson Homes consists of insulated flexible tubes that snake across the attic floor or under the house. Unfortunately, heating ducts are out of sight and therefore out of mind and tend to be neglected when it comes to cleaning and repair. A recent study by the Arizona Energy Commission concluded that the average home loses up to 30%-50% of the hot air before it ever gets to the rooms where it’s needed due to leaking duct work. You could be overpaying the utility companies by as much as 30-50%.