The idea of using both a furnace and heat pump might sound a bit unusual at first. After all, why would you need two heating systems? While furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design actually make installing both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for all of us, but in the right conditions you can absolutely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You should think about several factors in order to confirm if this kind of setup suits you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both highly important, especially for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps begin to work less effectively in cooler weather and larger homes. At the same time, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Lawrence.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Effective in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are generally less effective in colder weather because of how they create climate control to start with. Compared to furnaces, which burn fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and dispersed throughout your home. Assuming there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump should function. But the cooler 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 preferred temperature. It might depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps can 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 point a gas furnace is more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?
Heat pumps work best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is colder. As a matter of fact, that’s why owning 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 tout greater efficiency in cold weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of operating at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain functional in temperatures as cold as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in especially cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump if I Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about 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 adaptable, but it provides other perks including:
- Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the means 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 pick which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime of these heaters can really add up to lots of savings.
- Less strain on both systems – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating resources are split between the furnace and heat pump. Essential components may live longer given that they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still uncertain about heat pump installation in Lawrence, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local professional technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the better option.