Before my husband and I built a home in Springfield, Missouri, we spent a lot of time researching and planning.
We wanted to make smart decisions that would reduce maintenance and expense.
We hoped to create an aesthetically pleasing, comfortable and energy efficient living space. The weather extremes in Springfield make both heating and cooling priorities. The expense of temperature control accounts for approximately fifty percent of household energy costs. My husband and I looked into a variety of heating and cooling options. For a home in Springfield, we needed a system that could handle temperatures that fluctuate from the low teens to the low nineties. After a lot of debate, we decided a higher investment into a more energy efficient solution would pay for itself in the long run. We chose the combination of a natural gas furnace and an electric heat pump. This partnership of systems is often referred to a duel fuel system or a hybrid heating system. Although the heat pump was more expensive to purchase than a conventional air conditioner, it provides both heating and cooling capacity. The system works by transferring heat between the indoors and outdoors. During the summer, it operates the same as an air conditioner, extracting heat and creating a cooling effect. The true beauty of a heat pump is the ability to reverse the flow of refrigerant. In heating mode, pulls ambient heat out of the outdoor air and supplies it indoors. This process is wonderfully environmentally friendly and energy efficient. With no combustion, there is no greenhouse gasses produced. We rely on the heat pump until the outdoor temperature drops below freezing. The furnace automatically starts up and provides effective heating during the worst of the winter weather.