Electrification & Your HVAC System: A Quick Guide

If you’re using a gas or oil-burning furnace for heating, you can consider electrification as a way to help reduce your home’s carbon emissions. In today’s post, local HVAC repair company Schmitt Heating & Air Conditioning takes a look at electrification and how it relates to your HVAC system.

What Is Electrification?

Simply put, electrification is choosing electrical alternatives to utilities that burn natural gas or oil. Burning fuel produces carbon emissions that contribute to planet-warming pollution. In homes, these utilities include cooking equipment like stoves and grills, laundry dryers and furnaces. In the United States alone, nearly half of all the homes use some type of fuel-burning system for heating.

The problem with fuel-burning furnaces is that they lose efficiency over time. Furnaces are rated by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratio, or the percentage of heat produced for every dollar of fuel it consumes. For example, a brand-new oil furnace would be rated at 98.7% AFUE, which means $0.013 of every dollar goes to soot and other byproducts. It may not sound bad at first, but as its AFUE rating goes down over the years, a furnace produces less heating and more emissions. In comparison, electric furnaces are consistently at 100% because they do not generate waste byproducts.

How Does Electrification Work With Existing HVAC Systems?

If you own an electric car or a conduction cooker, then you’ve already taken a few steps towards electrification. With your heating system, it doesn’t mean you have to immediately replace your system, especially if it’s still relatively efficient.

However, you have to have a plan. At some point in the future, you will need to replace your heating system, and therefore will have the choice to either choose the same fuel-burning system or replace it with an electric furnace or a heat pump. If the air conditioning system is also up for replacement, consider mini-split air conditioners with heat pump capabilities instead. In addition to the key benefits — custom climate control in each room and having only one system for heating and cooling — heat pumps pull heat from the outdoors, which means they consume less energy than electric furnaces.

Contact Us for Your HVAC Needs

Schmitt Heating & Air Conditioning provides HVAC services, including heating repair, to customers in San Francisco and the surrounding communities. Give us a call at (415) 689-7849 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.

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