A warm home is a welcome retreat from the long winter months, but opening the utility bill can be more shocking than a blast of frigid air. If the inefficiency of an outdated or undersized HVAC system is contributing to above-average costs, or forcing you in a losing battle with Mother Nature, it may be time to upgrade.

Of course, deciding to revamp your home’s heating components is just the first step in the process. You’ll also have to determine whether an electric heat pump or a gas-powered furnace is best suited for your temperature-raising needs.

Size & Geography

For some homeowners, the gas vs. electric debate will be a much simpler decision. One of the clearest advantages that a gas furnace holds over its electric counterpart is its greater power and efficiency.

The larger a home, the more doubtful it becomes that an electric heat pump will be up to the task. Lots of square footage may make a gas furnace the only option capable of keeping up with your heating requirements. Similarly, your heating demands may be more than electric heating can handle if you live in a particularly cold climate. Gas-powered heating is the preferred choice for regions where temperatures often dip below freezing.

Consider Costs

Those living in more moderate climates or smaller homes will need to weigh several additional factors. If your home is not already equipped with gas lines, the cost to do so will be a strike against heating with gas. And regardless, the initial cost of a gas furnace installation will be considerably higher than a heat pump.

However, the long-term costs of a gas furnace will be lower than the alternative. If you tend to like your home warmer than most or are confident that you will remain in the house for many years, the reduced operating expenses may negate the additional up-front costs.

Environmental Concerns

If living green is more important than saving green, the debate is not as clear-cut as one would hope. The environmental approach of your local utility providers may determine which route to take. Generally speaking, natural gas will be the cleaner fuel. However, the consequences of current extraction practices are closing the gap. Selecting the unit able to heat your particular home the most efficiently is likely to be the greenest approach.

Stay warm this winter and remember, Open Mortgage is standing by to help discuss your mortgage options in retirement. Call 888-602-6626 today to make sure your home isn’t leaving you out in the cold.

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