The concept of running both a furnace and heat pump can feel a bit odd at first. After all, why do you need two heating systems? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design actually make installing both of them a viable option. It’s not for everybody, but in the right conditions you will absolutely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to take a look at several factors in order to confirm if this kind of setup helps you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both especially important, namely for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps start to run less efficiently in colder weather and large homes. Even so, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Alliance.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Reliable in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less efficient in cold weather as a result of how they create climate control to begin with. Compared to furnaces, which combust fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and circulated around your home. As long as there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the cooler the temperature, the less effective this process is.
The less heat energy is accessible outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to draw heat indoors to maintain your ideal temperature. It may depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps may start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. They can still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which a gas furnace is more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?
Heat pumps manage best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to sacrifice the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cooler. As a matter of fact, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the cost. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to call for shifting to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models claim greater efficiency in cooler weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of running at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even continue running in temperatures as low as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to use the furnace in particularly cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump If I Have a Gas Furnace?
If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system possible, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it provides other advantages like:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the capability to heat your home. It won't always be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than having an unheated home while you sit around for repairs
- Lower energy costs – The ability to pick which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life span of these heating systems can really add up to a lot of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Key hardware can live longer as they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Alliance, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local professional technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.