Homeowners in Medford, Oregon have a number of options when the time comes to choose a new furnace. Hopefully your purchase is part of a planned upgrade and not the result of a sudden HVAC emergency that has left your family in the cold, but in either case, the new furnace that you select will be an integral part of your home’s functionality, comfort, and energy efficiency for many years to come. If you feel that you only have a partial understanding of the differences between an electric, gas, and oil furnace, or if you are considering an alternative system like a heat pump, you have come to the right place. In this post, we introduce you to the key features that set each unit apart from the others.

Oil Heat

We begin with the furnace option that is probably least likely to attract your attention. Oil heating used to be very popular, and you can still find it in some older homes. But today it is rare to install a new oil furnace—gas and electrical models are much easier and more affordable to operate on a day-to-day basis. If your Medford, OR home has an oil furnace, we can help you make the switch to an efficient, modern alternative and save on heating costs throughout the colder months.

Electric Heat

Electric furnaces are one of the two most common home heating choices, at least here in the Pacific Northwest. A large part of the reason for that is its relatively low installation cost. It is cheaper to put an electric furnace in your home than a gas furnace, and if you are in a crunch to replace a broken unit as soon as possible, you should be able to get your hands on a leading manufacturer’s model without breaking the bank. However, keep in mind that it will probably cost you more to run than a gas furnace on a monthly basis. The price of electricity has been on an upward trend for quite some time, so electric heat is not the cheapest long-term option.

Gas Heat

Gas heating is hands-down the most efficient choice for Medford, Oregon homeowners, and probably the most popular overall as well. In our climate, with many subzero temperatures every season and more annual furnace usage than most areas of the country, the monthly energy bills should be a primary concern for the furnace shopper. Even if you have to shuffle finances around a little in order to afford the more expensive gas furnace, the decision will pay off in the long term.

Heat Pumps

Unlike the previous Medford, OR heating options, a heat pump system provides both heating and cooling in a single system. As its name suggests, the system pumps heat either into the house or out of the house, depending on the temperature difference. For a new construction or for an existing home that needs both a new furnace and a new air conditioner, a heat pump system can be a huge money saver up front. Over the long term, a heat pump is slightly less efficient than a dedicated furnace or AC unit would be, but for most homeowners, the benefit of only purchasing one system instead of two makes up the energy cost difference.

Heat pumps are also limited in the temperature ranges that they can handle. In Oregon, summer temperatures do not generally exceed the ability of a heat pump to keep the home climate comfortable. However, because temperatures frequently dip below freezing in the winter, your HVAC installation expert will recommend a backup heater that will take over when the heat pump reaches its limit.

Hopefully, this discussion has given you a starting point as you think about which heating option is ideal for your Medford, Oregon home. The best way to pinpoint the type, brand, and model that matches your family’s needs, though, is to have a local HVAC expert take a look at your house, analyze your needs, and tell you which furnaces would be within your price range. Please don’t hesitate to give our office a call or send us an email—we are ready to set up an appointment and help you decide between oil, gas, electric, or a heat pump system.

Oil furnaces are steadily being replaced by gas and electric models.