About "Ask the Energy Expert"
Craig Muccio ran FPL's Conservation Research & Development Program and crunched the numbers to figure out how you can save by managing your energy use.
Your questions on energy-related topics can be submitted anytime to our Ask the Energy Expert blog. Just click here to submit your question, and if chosen, it will be answered here
Asked on: December 12, 2013 by Dale M., Fort Myers
What’s the best heating system to have for cold snaps: my standard A/C system with heating or should I look into investing in a heat pump?
The best heating system for a Florida home always depends on how chilly it gets where you live and how warm you like to keep your home when it gets cold outside.
A/C systems with heat strips
Most Florida homes, like yours, have a straight cool air conditioner with a built-in heating element for space heating, also known as “heat strips.” These systems are good for keeping your home cool during our hot Florida days and nights, but are less efficient at heating if the weather cools down. In fact, you spend two to three times more whenever you run the heat with your A/C system.
Heat pump systems
Heat pump systems, on the other hand, heat more efficiently, which can help you save money if you live in a colder part of the state or if you run the heat often in the winter. In fact, those who use heat frequently could save up to $75 per year heating with a heat pump system compared to a standard A/C system.
The right option for you
Some areas of the state, like Fort Myers, can have chilly days. So, whether or not a heat pump makes sense for you all comes down to whether you like to use the heat a lot during cold snaps. If so, a heat pump might be worth considering. If you rarely run the heat, you may want to stick with your current A/C unit with heating capabilities.
You might also be interested in: How do I know when it’s time to replace my A/C or heat pump?
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