When considering  how to heat a home, some folks are on the fence about a heat pump or a gas furnace?

If you have natural gas available, an energy efficient alternative to consider is a dual-fuel HVAC system, which is a hybrid system where the interior unit is a gas (preferably 2 stage) furnace and the outdoor unit is a Heat pump condensing unit.  The hybrid system installation would include a Programmable, dual fuel thermostat & Outdoor temperature sensor.

During the heating season, the heat pump will run until the outdoor temperature reaches 35 degrees (this temperature can be adjusted to suit individual needs).  At the set temperature, it switches to gas.  If you use a 2 stage gas furnace, it fires at half capacity during start-up.  If the thermostat hasn’t reached the set temperature after 5 minutes, then the gas furnace fires at 100% capacity.

A Heat pump is more efficient (up to certain temperatures) because it is transferring heat instead of generating heat.  Once it gets too cold, then the heat pump has to start generating heat.  Generating heat is where most energy is used.  Therefore a heat pump is more efficient when it’s not so cold outside.  As it becomes colder, the gas furnace is more efficient, not to mention more comfortable.  Of course, you still have central air conditioning during summer.  Best of both in one system.