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How to Choose the Right Furnace or AC

August 17, 2023

If you have an older heating system in your home, you might be missing out on energy savings. Based on information from the Department of Energy, approximately 29% of a typical home's utility expenses are attributed to heating costs. By upgrading your HVAC system, you could significantly decrease your annual property ownership costs. We want to walk you through the three options for a new system: an electric furnace, a gas furnace, and a heat pump. 

Electric Furnace:


  • Energy efficiency: Electric furnaces are highly efficient in converting electricity into heat, resulting in minimal energy waste.
  • Safety: Since electric furnaces do not burn fuel, there is no risk of carbon monoxide emissions, making them a safer option for indoor air quality.
  • Easy Installation: Electric furnaces are relatively easy to install, and they don't require a venting system.


  • High Operating Costs: Electricity can to be more expensive than natural gas, which can result in slightly higher monthly heating bills.
  • Limited Heat Output: Electric furnaces may struggle to produce sufficient heat during extremely cold weather conditions, affecting their effectiveness in colder regions (Michigan winters don’t mess around, so you’ll want to take this into consideration). 

Gas Furnace:


  • Cost-effective: Natural gas is often more affordable than electricity, making gas furnaces a cost-effective heating option in many regions.
  • Heating capacity: Gas furnaces provide quick and consistent heat, even during the coldest weather.
  • Availability: Natural gas is readily available in most areas, making it a convenient choice for many homeowners.


  • Safety: Gas furnaces involve combustion, which poses potential risks of carbon monoxide leaks or other safety hazards if not properly maintained.
  • Regular maintenance: Gas furnaces require routine maintenance to ensure safe and efficient operation, which might mean additional costs to you.
  • Environmental impact: Burning natural gas releases greenhouse gases, contributing to environmental concerns.

Heat Pump:


  • Energy efficiency: Heat pumps can provide efficient heating by transferring heat from the outside air or ground, consuming less electricity than traditional electric furnaces.
  • Dual functionality: Heat pumps can also be used for cooling during the warmer months, offering year-round climate control. That’s a furnace and air conditioning unit in one! 
  • Environmentally friendly: Heat pumps produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions, making them an eco-friendly heating option.


  • Limited efficiency: Heat pumps may struggle to provide adequate heat in extreme climates, potentially requiring other heating sources.
  • Initial cost: Heat pumps tend to have a higher upfront cost compared to traditional heating systems, which might be a deterrent for some homeowners.
  • Regular maintenance: Like any heating system, heat pumps require regular maintenance to maintain optimal performance.

Each option has its merits and drawbacks, so weigh your priorities and consult with Godwin’s heating professionals to make an informed decision that best suits your needs and preferences. Ultimately, choosing the right heating system will ensure a comfortable and cozy home throughout the winter months. Godwin’s heating and cooling services will keep your appliances running smoothly and your space comfortable. Our team is helpful and reliable, so you can be comfortable during repairs, installation, or service maintenance. 


3703 S Division Ave

Grand Rapids, MI 49548 US 

Phone: (616) 248-9513

Schedule an HVAC appointment with us!

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