Understanding the Pros and Cons of Various Heating Systems

Heating your Monroe, NC home is an energy-intensive process that can account for more than 40% of your monthly utility bill. Upgrading your heater can be a great way to save energy, but which type of heating system should you choose? To help you find an answer, let’s explore how today’s top heating systems can meet your comfort needs.


More people rely on furnaces for home heating than any other option. Furnaces come in several varieties, but the most common systems burn natural gas to produce heat. That’s because gas is generally affordable, widely available, and burns cleanly inside a furnace. However, not every home has the natural gas supply needed to support a gas furnace.

You can count on a furnace to deliver serious heating power in any condition. Some heaters become less effective in bitterly cold weather, but a properly sized furnace can reliably heat your entire home. Additionally, furnaces tend to be less expensive to purchase and install than other types of heating equipment. The same is not always true, however, when it comes to monthly energy costs. Before considering a furnace, it’s important to check the price of your preferred heating fuel. This can help you determine what kind makes sense for your home.

Heat Pumps

The primary problem with home heating is that it takes a lot of energy to produce heat. Many modern heating systems have sophisticated features to help them generate heat more efficiently, but heat pumps are different. Instead of producing heat on their own, heat pumps extract and concentrate heat energy from the ambient air. This makes them exceedingly efficient, potentially allowing you to reduce your monthly energy consumption and utility costs. Since they don’t use combustion and aren’t powered by fossil fuels, heat pumps are also very clean and eco-friendly. Additionally, many homeowners appreciate the cost-effective simplicity of a single system that provides both heating and cooling.

Of course, there are also a few potential disadvantages to consider before making a decision. Heat pumps need ambient heat energy to work properly. When the temperature drops too far, your heat pump may have a hard time extracting enough heat to provide sufficient warmth. This is rarely a problem in North Carolina, but you can still be prepared by adding a backup heating source. The easiest solution is a dual-fuel hybrid system that combines a heat pump and a furnace for supplemental heating. It’s also worth considering that, on average, the lifespan of a heat pump is somewhat shorter than a furnace.

Ductless HVAC Systems

Furnaces and heat pumps are clearly different in many ways, but they also share a key similarity. Both systems rely on ductwork to spread heated air throughout your home. This can be a serious problem if you don’t already have HVAC ducts in place. Fortunately, ductless HVAC systems offer an excellent alternative. Ductless units can be mounted almost anywhere to provide versatile, efficient heating and cooling. Single-zone systems are great for heating additions and other small areas. For a more comprehensive solution, multi-zone systems provide the unique ability to independently control multiple areas of your home.

When it comes to heating your home, ductless HVAC units are similar to heat pumps. However, eliminating the need for ductwork also eliminates a major source of wasted energy. With proper installation, a ductless system can provide consistent comfort without any troublesome hot or cold spots. Installation is minimally disruptive, but it can be costly for larger systems that feature many indoor units.

The icy grip of a North Carolina winter is no match for a high-quality heating system. With so many great options available, a professional heating contractor is invaluable in helping you find the perfect match. To get started today, check out Byrum Heating & AC’s heating installation services or call 704-208-4165.

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