By all measures, geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) outshine propane furnaces based on a number of important factors. Both supply dependable heat. However, GHPs rely on renewable resources, while propane systems require fuel.
The initial cost of a GHP will exceed that of a propane furnace. However, a federal tax credit active until December 31, 2016 is available, giving you a 30 percent tax credit on the system’s cost and installation, with the exception of the ductwork.
Propane furnaces depend solely on fuel, which is stored in a large tank on your property. A GHP, on the other hand, extracts its heat from stored thermal energy underground. Both propane and GHPs require electricity to run fans and some of their other components.
The efficiency for combustion furnaces, including propane, is measured by how much fuel goes directly towards heating and waste. The most efficient furnaces waste as little as 1 percent of the fuel they use, giving them an efficiency close to 100 percent.
Heat pumps, including GHPs, have a different rating that measures how much heat they produce per unit of energy used. Geothermal heat pumps generate three to six times more heat per unit of electricity consumed. While a combustion furnace can reach nearly 100 percent, a GHP can reach 600 percent efficiency. The amount of electricity propane furnaces use is not factored into their efficiency rating, which adds to the cost of their operation.
With professional maintenance and regular air filter changes, a propane furnace can last from 15 to 20 years, while a GHP can last 25 years or more, which also includes its air conditioning components. The underground loop field normally carries a 50-year warranty.
If you’d like more information about geothermal heat pumps, contact Detmer and Sons, Inc. We’ve been providing outstanding HVAC services for Dayton area homeowners since 1978.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Dayton, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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