Did you know there’s a big difference between a furnace and an air handler? A furnace burns fuel (typically natural gas in the Tri-Cities) and transfers the heat into a heat exchanger, while an air handler uses electricity to heat a metal coil. Both appliances then push air over the heated elements, which travels through the ducts to heat the home or building.
Due to our frigid winters in the Tri-Cities, it is common to see a furnace/air conditioner combination installed in homes. It’s much more cost effective to pay for natural gas than it is to heat an electric coil when temperatures dip below freezing. However, air handlers have recently become the go-to installation due to the significant advances in heat pump technology (air handlers are typically installed with heat pumps, not air conditioners). Heat pumps have become incredibly efficient, which means less time using electricity to heat the coil in an air handler.
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