The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump can sound somewhat odd at first. After all, why do you need two heaters? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design genuinely make installing both of them a practical option. It’s not for everybody, but in the right conditions you could definitely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You'll need to weigh several factors in order to decide if this kind of setup suits you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both highly important, especially for the heat pump. This is because numerous models of heat pumps begin to work less effectively in colder weather and bigger homes. That being said, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Justin.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Effective in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are typically less effective in colder weather due to how they create climate control to start with. Unlike furnaces, which ignite fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and distributed around your home. Provided there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the colder the temperature, the less effective this process is.
The less heat energy is accessible outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to bring heat indoors to maintain your desired temperature. It may depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps generally start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They should still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after which a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps function best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cold. As a matter of fact, that’s why installing both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the cost. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to warrant swapping to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models boast greater effectiveness in cold weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of running at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain efficient in temperatures as cold as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in particularly cold weather.
So Should I Put In a Heat Pump If I Use a Gas Furnace?
If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system possible, having a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it features other benefits including:
- Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the ability to heat your home. It might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than having an unheated home while you sit around for repairs
- Reduced energy costs – The ability to choose which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime of these heating systems can really add up to lots of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating duties are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial hardware may live longer as they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Justin, don’t hesitate to contact your local professional technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the better option.