The thought of running both a furnace and heat pump can sound a little unusual at first. After all, why should you need two sources of heat? While furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design really make installing both of them a potential option. It’s not for all of us, but with the right conditions you can 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 type of setup suits you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both very important, especially for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps start to work less efficiently in colder weather and large homes. At the same time, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Plover.
Heat Pumps Might Be Less Reliable in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are generally less reliable in cold weather as a result of how they create climate control in the first place. Unlike furnaces, which ignite fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and dispersed around your home. As long as there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the colder the temperature, the less efficient this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to reach your ideal temperature. It might depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps can start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which a gas furnace is more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps work best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cooler. In fact, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the cost. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to warrant shifting to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models boast greater efficiency in winter weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of working at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even continue running in temperatures as extreme as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in especially cold weather.
So Should I Put In a Heat Pump If I Have a Gas Furnace?
If you’re serious about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, but it features other benefits like:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the ability to heat your home. It might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than shivering in an unheated home while you sit around for repairs
- Reduced energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these heating systems can really add up to a lot of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating resources are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Essential parts can last longer since they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Plover, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local certified technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.