Recently I received a phone call from a colleague who had a client proposing a dual fuel HVAC system to a homeowner. This homeowner was both technically capable and very inquisitive. He wanted to accurately quantify the cost difference between heating with a gas furnace versus a heat pump. The question was simple enough, but when I was asked for the answer… I stammered. I did not actually have a straightforward solution. This bothered me a lot, and my mind had two thoughts, which were equally bothersome:
- “If I cannot explain something clearly, then I myself do not truly understand it.”
- “In GOD I trust; everyone else must provide data.”
My curiosity had to be satisfied. So, I went digging on the internet… and nothing was clearly quantified. However, I did find the formulas needed to answer my question. So, let’s dive into the topic of gas versus a heat pump and look at some real math on the costs. To start, we have to look at all costs in the same format. I choose to compare everything to natural gas heat and look at this through the cost per BTUH. All utility costs are based on my specific area and are clearly identified so this math could be adjusted based on your utility costs.