by Scott Ranck
We recently had our first taste of slightly cooler air, which is when native Floridians break out their sweaters and start getting excited for the couple months of winter. Let’s talk about something we rarely consider in this vacation state, how to heat our homes.
Heating our homes is only approximately 7% of our total residential energy costs, so it doesn’t get much thought. We have multiple options from electric heat pumps, electric furnaces, natural gas furnaces and propane gas furnaces.
The issue for heat in Florida is not so much cost because it is rather minimal no matter which source of heat you use—the real issue for me personally is comfort. Cool air with humidity feels colder than cold, dry air. Therefore, on those days when I need my heat, I want to feel that the heat is on rather than a fan blowing cool air around the home making it feel drafty.
Comfort is what sets gas furnaces apart from the competition. Heat pumps will bring warmed air into your living space that is often less than 100° at the supply vent. Gas furnaces will deliver heated air that is around 130°. That heated air entering the cool space feels great on a chilly morning.
Over the years I have lived in several homes heated in a variety of ways. My current Florida home has a natural gas furnace, and it is by far my favorite. Contact your energy experts at Florida Public Utilities to discuss your heating options before the two-month long winter is upon us! For more information about your energy needs, please visit www.fpuc.com/energyexpert.
Scott Ranck is the Conservation Program Coordinator & Energy Specialist for Florida Public Utilities. Feel free to e-mail any energy-related questions or comments to Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.