So, you’re looking for a new heating/cooling system. Either the current one is too old or it broke down and needs replacing.

Here are your main choices:

  • Get a new air conditioner and furnace
  • Get an air-source heat pump instead (possibly with a furnace as a backup unit)

This seems like an easy choice since a heat pump can both cool and heat your home (and there’s less equipment to install and maintain).

However, a heat pump isn’t right for every home. 

While a heat pump cools as efficiently as a regular air conditioner, a heat pump’s heating cost efficiency compared to a gas furnace drastically changes based on these factors.

  • Your area’s seasonal weather
  • Your gas vs. electricity rates

Since these factors change depending on the geographical area, and we serve the metro Atlanta area, we’ll focus on how well heat pumps work in Georgia.

Heat pumps work efficiently in Georgia’s climate

Heat pumps work more efficiently in warmer areas rather than cooler ones.

Once the weather gets below 40°F the heat pump struggles to pull heat out of the outdoor air to heat your home inside. So, a panel of less-efficient electric resistance coils (like the ones in your toaster) kicks on to assist heating your home.

This electric panel costs more to use than a gas furnace would. So a gas furnace is preferred in areas with long, frigid winters.

But Georgia has a humid subtropical climate, meaning humid summers and mild to cool winters. So, heat pumps work efficiently here.

OK, so heat pumps are a good match for Georgia’s weather. Now you need to look at your...

Gas vs. electricity rates in Georgia

Even within a subtropical climate zone, gas and electric rates will determine whether a gas furnace or heat pump costs less to use.

However, you’re going to find it hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison because you’re billed using different units.

  • You pay the gas company depending on the number of “terms” you use.
  • You pay the electric company based by the “kilowatt-hour” (kWh).

To get an accurate comparison, you have to convert these units into a common unit of heat called a British Thermal Unit (BTU) to see how many cents you’ll be paying per BTU.

But we’re betting you don’t want to do all that calculating.

To save you the trouble of calculating everything up, we’ll cite Georgia Power as a shortcut, “Today’s high-efficiency heat pumps keep you comfortable while saving you up to $300 annually** on your heating and cooling costs—year after year.”

The amount money you actually save, of course, changes based on several factors (efficiency of the heat pump, weather conditions, etc.), but you get the gist of it.

Need help affording a heat pump?

Thinking about going from an air conditioner/furnace to a heat pump?

To soften the installation cost, some electric companies offer rebates (a partial refund) for purchasing a heat pump (or converting from gas to electric).

We can help you find any available rebates if you get a heat pump from us.


Heat pumps make a great alternative to air conditioner/gas furnace combos. Georgia has the right climate and heat pumps can save you up to $300 a year through lower utility costs.

If you live in the metro Atlanta area and need a heat pump installed, contact Ragsdale Air for help.

Ragsdale Heating, Air, Plumbing & Electrical has been serving  the metro Atlanta area for over 25 years. Contact us online for more information on how we can help you.

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