Gas heat versus heat pump
I was recently asked what I recommend when replacing a unit; if one should go the route of a heat pump or gas heat when taking in consideration that we live in South Carolina (specifically Columbia… famously hot?).
My response was gas and this is why:
- Not taking into account that I am a residential heating and air contractor, my preference lends to the most simplistic form of measurement: I can truly feel the heat that comes from gas heat. Being acclimated to South Carolina, when I am cold, I want to be warm very quickly.
- We also see a serious storm or two that tends to knockout the power. Though this won’t help you due to needing power to blow the heat throughout the home, if you went ahead and got the gas logs when you were putting in the gas furnace, then you are good to go (I know this is a stretch, but it has come in handy for me).
- Lastly, and admittingly I am holding on for this to actually happen, America sits on one of the greatest supplies of natural gas. Whether you like him or not, President Trump has pushed heavily for dependence on resources and utilities (hence why the Dow Jones keeps running up since his inauguration).
If your home requires multiple units (upstairs and downstairs), then may I suggest gas heat for downstairs and a heatpump for upstairs. When we do new construction on custom homes, this is the route I recommend and that we almost always go. Just be sure that if you do decide to go with gas heat that you have a carbon monoxide detector (we keep them on our trucks if we are at your home and you need one).
There are also solutions like dual fuel units and geothermal. We can get into those more later.
Lastly, heatpumps have come a long way in technology and are pretty impressive with their ability to pull warmth on frigid nights. Just be sure your electric strip heat is sized properly to bail you out if the heatpump can’t keep up.