What is the cheapest method of heating a home?

Furnace maintenance in Peoria, IL

When it comes to heating homes in the Peoria area, one of the most pressing concerns for homeowners is which heating solution is the cheapest. Use this guide to understand your heating options and the variables that will affect which will cost the least in utility expenses.

Variables That Affect Heating Costs

The options typically considered for heating a home include gas furnaces, electric furnaces and heat pumps. Of these options, there are three primary factors that will affect which system will cost the least to operate.

System Efficiency

For furnaces, the efficiency rating is AFUE or annual fuel utilization efficiency. This essentially considers how much heat the unit produces compared to what it loses through exhaust. From this perspective, electric furnaces are always more efficient than gas units.

However, heat pumps beat both electric and gas furnaces because they transfer heat rather than produce it. These units measure efficiency with HSPF or the heating seasonal performance factor. The heating seasonal performance factor is a ratio of how much heat a heat pump transfers compared to the electricity it consumes.

Outside Temperature

The outside temperature is a major factor in how much a system will cost to run. Once the temperature drops below freezing, the efficiency of most heat pumps drops significantly, usually requiring a backup heating source. The standard backup is an electric resistance heater.

Utility Costs

Finally, the cost of the utility is a significant factor in how much you pay in heating bills. Historically, natural gas is considerably less per unit than electricity, making gas furnaces cost less to run than electric furnaces, even with the heat loss in the exhaust.

Dual Fuel Systems: The Ideal Solution

If your only consideration is how much a system will cost to run, a dual-fuel system gives you the best options regardless of the weather outside. During the more moderate weather, your heat pump will heat your home. However, during those frigid periods, the system has a gas furnace to pick up the slack and use a less costly option than the standard electric resistance backup.

For more than 40 years, people around Peoria have trusted Fritch Heating & Cooling, Inc. to help find the most cost-effective methods of heating their homes. Our team provides award-winning air conditioning and heating installation, maintenance and repair together with indoor air quality solutions and ductwork services. Call to schedule a consultation with one of our expert installation technicians today.