Saving Money To Heat Your Home, Whether You Use Gas Or Electric

Wednesday, October 11th 2006, 10:34 am
By: News On 6

As the weather gets colder, you might be dreading those high heating bills, but if you have a gas furnace, you might consider adding an electric heat pump to the mix.

As News on 6 reporter Steve Berg explains, it lets you pick and choose between gas and electric, depending on what costs more.

Keith Deaver with Airco Systems says the so-called hybrid system has been getting more interest. "We have a lot of people asking about it, and with the high cost of utilities, it's a great alternative to the high gas costs."

Combining an electric heat pump with a gas furnace isn't really a new idea. What's new, says Deaver, is that the controls are getting more sophisticated and making it easier to switch between the two. “Now you have a thermostat on the wall that does the controlling for you. It monitors the indoor temperature and monitors the outdoor temperature and automatically switches over at the temperature that you can preset at the thermostat."

Generally speaking, Deaver says heat pumps don't work as well when it gets extremely cold say 25 degrees and below. "When it gets extremely cold, you're going to comfort-wise want to switch over to the gas heat, but you do have that choice, to switch over, or not to."

When might you stay with the heat pump? Well, if gas prices are like they sometimes were last winter. "So all of a sudden if you have gas prices that go out of sight, and we go back to the $12 a decatherm then you can lower that down even lower if you want to."

As you might expect, your costs up front are a little higher, but if you're in the market for a new heating and cooling system, and you'd like some added flexibility, a hybrid system might be the way to go.