April 11, 2024
Heat Pump Services in Las Vegas, NV

Even though the Las Vegas, NV, area is known for its hot summers, it does get cold enough in the winter here to make reliable heating a necessity. The odds are that you will eventually have to choose a new heating system for your home. If you’re already facing that choice or soon will be, you have two main options. One is a gas-powered furnace, and the other is a heat pump. The former is the gold standard of heating systems in much of the U.S., and the latter is the most efficient option available. Here’s everything you need to know to make an informed choice between the two.

The Pros of Furnaces

Gas-powered furnaces provide heat in approximately 47% of the homes in the U.S. that have heating systems installed. They’re typically the most popular heating system choice, and there are some excellent reasons for that. The most important reason has to do with operating costs. Gas furnaces are, at a minimum, 80% efficient, with some systems reaching efficiencies as high as 98.5%. When you combine high efficiency levels like that with the relatively low costs of natural gas, you get some of the lowest heating costs possible. Plus, natural gas is abundant, and its supply is reliable. Homeowners with gas furnaces rarely worry about going without heat.

Another reason why furnaces are popular is that they’re not very expensive. Installing a new gas furnace costs, on average, between $1,700 and $3,300. As far as home infrastructure goes, that’s a bargain. Plus, gas furnaces last for up to 20 years with proper maintenance, so they’re excellent investments. During their lifespan, furnaces provide plentiful heat and excel at raising temperatures inside homes quickly, minimizing the wait for comfort.

The Cons of Furnaces

Even though gas furnaces have a lot going for them, they’re not perfect. They do have some drawbacks that prospective owners should consider. The most important one is that gas furnaces, despite having an excellent safety record, do come with some risks. Since they involve a controlled combustion process, there’s always the chance that a gas furnace could cause a fire. Plus, they can develop natural gas leaks and even leak carbon monoxide if they fall into disrepair. The latter threat is particularly dangerous given that carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and can be fatal in sufficient concentrations.

Gas furnaces also require your home to have a connection to the natural gas supply grid, which can be costly if you don’t have a connection already. Plus, installing a new gas furnace isn’t simple because making the required gas connections isn’t something an amateur can do. Gas furnaces also need some complex maintenance if you want them to continue running well and safely as they age.

The Pros of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are an extremely efficient heating option. In heating mode, heat pumps can operate at up to 400% efficiency, given the right conditions. Heat pumps work best in climates where the temperatures don’t drop too far below freezing. That makes the Las Vegas area an ideal place to operate a heat pump. The reason those high efficiency levels are possible is that heat pumps don’t produce any heat themselves. They simply harvest available heat energy from the outdoor air and bring it indoors to heat your home.

Another great advantage of heat pumps is that they can cool your home in the summer. You can install a heat pump to replace your existing furnace and air conditioning system at the same time. In cooling mode, heat pumps rank among the most efficient options on the market, which is a huge plus here in Las Vegas, where summer temperatures in the triple digits are common. And if that isn’t enough, heat pumps are also less damaging to the environment, which means using them helps alleviate some of the very conditions driving our record-setting heat here in the first place.

It’s also worth noting that many new heat pumps qualify for a variety of government subsidies and tax credits. Depending on which ones you qualify for, this can make installing a heat pump even cheaper than installing a gas furnace. Under the federal Inflation Reduction Act, you could get a tax credit worth up to 30% of the cost of a new heat pump, up to $2,000. Beginning in 2024, an income-based point-of-sale subsidy program will provide rebates worth up to 100% of the cost of a new heat pump, up to $8,000. In other words, a new heat pump could be totally free for some homeowners.

The Cons of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps, like gas furnaces, also come with some drawbacks you should know about. The biggest one is that they don’t work very well in very cold temperatures. Once the outdoor temperature reaches about 25 degrees Fahrenheit, the average heat pump will only be as efficient as the average gas furnace. At temperatures below that, they may struggle to provide sufficient heat for a home. That’s why heat pumps come with backup electrical resistance heating elements. Those guarantee your home will always have enough heat but make a heat pump extremely expensive to operate while they’re active.

Plus, heat pumps operate at lower temperatures than furnaces do. Instead of turning on to deliver extremely hot air around your home, heat pumps run for long periods of time to deliver warm air instead. Though the resulting indoor temperatures are the same, a heat pump can result in inconsistent temperatures compared to a gas furnace. Most heat pump owners eventually adjust to the perceived temperature difference, but some struggle to do so.

Finally, another drawback of owning a heat pump is that any malfunction can deprive your home of both heating and cooling. This means you can’t delay repairs on your heat pump since you’ll be using it year-round. It also means there’s little downtime for regular maintenance. You may be slightly more inconvenienced while an HVAC technician tends to your heat pump each year.

Making the Right Choice

At the end of the day, there’s no wrong choice when it comes to gas furnaces and heat pumps. However, it’s clear that heat pumps are the future of residential heating and cooling. If you already have a gas furnace installed in your home, replacing it with a similar model isn’t a bad choice. If you qualify for any of the heat pump subsidies and rebates, this might be the perfect time to install a heat pump. Consult with the experts here at Polar Air & Heating, Inc., who can help you make the smartest possible choice for your home and family.

Your Local Heating Experts

Since 1998, Polar Air & Heating, Inc. has been the go-to HVAC company for homeowners in Las Vegas. We sell and install the latest in quality furnaces and heat pumps, as well as offer comprehensive HVAC repair and maintenance services. We also offer commercial HVAC services, indoor air quality services, and emergency repair. As a Better Business Bureau accredited business with an A+ rating, you can always expect superior workmanship and customer service when you work with us. If you need a new furnace or heat pump here in Las Vegas, call our team at Polar Air & Heating, Inc. today!

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