The idea of using both a furnace and heat pump may feel somewhat unusual at first. After all, why would you need two sources of heat? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design genuinely make using both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for everyone, but with the right conditions you could absolutely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll need to consider several factors in order to decide if this sort of setup helps you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both especially important, especially for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps begin to function less efficiently in cooler weather and large homes. That being said, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Huntsville.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Effective in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less reliable in colder weather due to how they provide climate control in the first place. Unlike furnaces, which burn fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and circulated around your home. Assuming there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump should function. But the colder the temperature, the less reliable this process is.
The less heat energy is usable outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to draw heat indoors to maintain your ideal temperature. It may depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps can start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. 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 temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to lose out on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cooler. In fact, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the expense. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to warrant shifting to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models tout greater performance in cooler 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 severely cold weather.
So Should I Put in a Heat Pump if I Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it offers other benefits including:
- Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the capability to heat your home. It may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than living in an unheated home while you hold out for repairs.
- Reduced 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 heaters can really add up to a lot of savings.
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Key hardware will sometimes live 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 expert technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the ideal option.