Almost all homes in Waco, Texas have central heating and air-conditioning. As far as the heating side is concerned, there are 3 types of Heaters. Gas Furnaces – you need Natural Gas or Propane, Heat Pumps – these type of systems look exactly the same as electric heat systems, but they use a reversing-valve to use the same technology as air-conditioning in the heating cycle, and electric furnaces – which have electric coils inside the indoor unit, think of a hair dryer.
Heat pumps have a cheaper monthly heating cost than electric furnaces.
Heat pumps transfer heat from outdoor air, so they use less energy (up to 50% less electricity) than electric furnaces, which heat air directly. So you’ll save more money on your monthly utility bill with a heat pump, especially when temperatures are above 40 F°.
Even when temperatures are below 40 F°, and your heat pump has to rely on backup electrical resistance heating to help warm your home, it’s still better than an electric furnace. Heat pumps can still extract heat from cold air, meaning it it doesn’t have to run 100% on electrical resistance heating.
In summary, since Waco weather averages out to 66°, you’ll experience the best monthly energy savings with a heat pump.
However, electric furnaces are better than heat pumps in one way…
An electric furnace provides more consistent comfort than a heat pump.
Electric furnaces can supply heat to your home at about 120F°—regardless of the outside temperature.
On the other hand, a heat pump will generally only supply heat at about 90–95° when the outside temperature is above40°. However, when the temperature is below 40°, it will supply 120F° heat the same as an electric furnace because it uses electric resistance coils for support.
This difference in heat temperature generally isn’t a problem, but when outside temperatures are consistently in the 50 F° range, a heat pump’s air may feel lukewarm because your body temperature is around 98 F°.
Of course, comfort is subjective, so it really depends on the person.
But if having 120 F° heat delivered to your home at all times is your #1 priority, then an electric (or gas, if you have gas lines) furnace may be right for you. However, given the monthly heating cost savings you’ll get with a heat pump, we still recommend going that route.