The idea of installing both a furnace and heat pump may seem a little strange at first. After all, why do you need two heating systems? Although furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design genuinely make installing both of them a practical option. It’s not for everybody, but under the right conditions you could absolutely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to weigh several factors in order to determine if this kind of setup works for you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both very important, especially for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps begin to function less efficiently in cooler weather and larger homes. Even so, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Huntsville.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Reliable in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less effective in colder weather because of how they generate climate control to begin with. Compared to furnaces, which burn fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and distributed around your home. As long as there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump should function. But the cooler the temperature, the less reliable this process is.
The less heat energy is usable outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to draw heat indoors to generate your desired temperature. It might depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps can start to lose out on efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after which a gas furnace should 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 give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is colder. As a matter of fact, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the cost. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to warrant switching to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models tout greater efficiency in cooler weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of working at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain functional in temperatures as cold as -22°F. For optimal energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in severely cold weather.
So Should I Put In a Heat Pump If I Have a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it provides other benefits like:
- Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, 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 wait for repairs
- Lower energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime of these systems can really add up to lots of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Key parts could survive longer as they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Huntsville, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local professional technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the better option.