Upgrading to a heat pump: natural gas vs. propane

Jul 13, 2022
replacing traditional AC with heat pump

When it comes to electrifying a home’s heating and cooling, upgrading to a heat pump is a great option. They help cut down energy bills and reduce a home’s emissions. However, before installing a heat pump, it is important to know if your home is using natural gas or propane, as that might affect which heat pump is right for you. These two posts from the Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) Collaborative help break down the benefits of using a heat pump for heating and cooling and the differences between using a heat pump with natural gas versus propane.

How a dual fuel heat pump system with natural gas backup balances emissions reduction with savings.

Homeowners who use natural gas to heat their homes and are looking to reduce their household’s carbon emissions with an air source heat pump have two main options. Option one is to install a heat pump and keep a furnace for backup. This is called a dual fuel system. With this option, the heat pump heats the home until the outdoor temperature gets too low, at which point the heating source switches from the heat pump to the furnace. Option two is to install a heat pump with electric boosters to supply all heating and remove the furnace. This is called an all-electric system. While an all-electric system is possible, the more cost-effective choice is to use a dual fuel approach for homes using natural gas. A dual fuel system offers the best balance of reducing emissions while keeping energy bills low.

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Ready to replace your AC? Learn why a heat pump is a win for homeowners using propane.

When is the best time to replace an AC? For equipment older than 15 years, waiting too long to replace could mean the equipment breaks when you need it most. This leads to expensive emergency service calls and limited equipment replacement options. To avoid that stress, expense, and lack of options, make a replacement plan beforehand. Before you decide to swap in another standard AC unit, consider the benefits of upgrading to a high-efficiency, cold-climate rated air source heat pump. A heat pump is essentially an AC that can run two ways, providing heating in addition to cooling. If you use propane to heat your home, heat pumps are a great investment. Replacing an AC with a cold-climate heat pump saves you money on energy bills year-round, increases your comfort, and is better for the environment.

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