It’s hard not to notice people complaining about their gas bills on Nextdoor these last few months. People are exasperated by the jump in their bills and frankly, so am I. I used to be a huge proponent of natural gas over a heat pump until recently; let me explain why with a little history lesson. In 2015, Piedmont Natural Gas (at the time, a not-for-profit company) announced a deal to be sold to Duke Energy, a company listed on the NY stock exchange. In 2016, the deal was done. At that time, the cost for a therm of gas was $0.83. A therm is equivalent to 100,000 BTU’s; the typical gas furnace is 60,000 – 80,000 BTU’s. By January 2017, the cost for a therm rose to $1.07 and as of March 2021, the cost became $1.25. In five years, customers have seen a 33% increase in their gas bills.
With the cost of gas skyrocketing, our attention is now focusing on heat pumps. Heat pumps are incredibly efficient machines. No other machine can match the output compared to input efficiency. However, in older heat pumps, this efficiency dropped off significantly when the temperatures crept below 40 degrees. Today’s heat pumps are a completely different machine due to inverter technology, electronic expansion valves and, of course, computers. Creating a hybrid system by pairing an inverter heat pump to a high efficiency gas furnace will cut your natural gas bills significantly and make your house more comfortable. It is one of the few investments in your home that yields immediate tangible results in both heating and cooling.