When people think of New Orleans, they imagine sultry summers with soaring temperatures. However, New Orleanians know that humidity in the air during the winter means bone-chilling cold, especially in older, drafty homes with high ceilings.
While our heating units may never have to work as hard or as long as our cooling units, it’s still important that homeowners choose energy efficient furnaces or heat pumps that keep their homes comfortable throughout the chilly season.
How does a heat pump work?
Heat pumps operate using heat transfer. Instead of burning fuel to create heat like furnaces do, heat pumps move heat from one place to another. A heat pump uses a small amount of energy to pull heat from the ground or outside air and move it into your home.
Despite the name, a heat pump can do more than just heat your home. It can also cool your home using a reverse process.
How does a furnace work?
Like heat pumps, furnaces keep your home warm in the winter and serve as an important part of your air conditioning system in the summer.
In a furnace, gas or oil is combusted in a burner. Heat produced from that reaction passes through a heat exchanger where it is transferred to the air distribution system. The ductwork throughout a home carries and disperses the conditioned air, and the flue or vent pipe releases the byproducts, such as carbon dioxide and water vapor, outside the home.
Types of Furnaces
Gas & Oil Furnaces
Gas and oil furnaces are more affordable to use than the electric furnace where gas is readily available. However, burning fuel does generate fumes. In well-maintained gas furnaces, the fumes generated are enclosed in the exchanger and then exit the house through an exhaust vent. Oil furnaces are not used in the southeast.
Remember, a gas furnace must be checked by a qualified heating contractor at least once a year. Our company would check the furnace for holes, leaks, or cracks as a break or crack in the furnace lets carbon monoxide seep into your house or place of business.
Electric furnaces are more expensive to operate than gas and oil furnaces. However, since electric furnaces do not use flames, they do not generate any carbon monoxide. The electric furnace is cleaner and safer than a gas furnace.