Dr. Kool‘s

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Four Ways to Heat

Most homeowners in Texas heat their homes using natural gas, propane, electric resistance heat, or a heat pump. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Natural Gas—first choice

If you live in town, natural gas is probably available. Modern gas furnaces have been improved considerably since 1992. They are safe and economical. Given the opportunity, most people prefer gas. Natural gas is delivered through pipes and metered by the utility company.

Propane—second choice

Country folk often heat with propane gas that is stored as a liquid in pressurized tanks. Since 1992 most furnaces come with in-shot burners, and that has improved the safety of propane heat. Bottled gas, though, is more expensive than natural gas.

Heating by combustion gives that toasty feeling. It has been around forever, and for many people it seems natural.

Electric Resistance Heat—third choice

An electric air handler is cheaper to install than either of the alternatives. Utility-wise this is the most expensive way to heat. But in the absence of natural gas, where the climate is very mild, electric resistance heat is ideal.

The Heat Pump—last choice

The heat pump is merely an air conditioner with a reversing valve, check valves, and a defrost mechanism. The outdoor compressor runs in the summer to cool and in the winter to heat. Its application is limited to mild climates, and it has numerous other drawbacks. It's my absolute last choice as a means of heating. For the complete story (4+ pages) on heat pumps click the link.

Kool Ways to Keep Warm,

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