The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump may seem somewhat strange at first. After all, why should you need two heating systems? While furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design actually make employing both of them a viable option. It’s not for everyone, but with the right conditions you can definitely benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll need to think about several factors in order to confirm if this type of setup works for you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both very important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps will function less effectively in colder weather and bigger homes. Even so, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Cottonwood & Prescott.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Reliable in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are generally less reliable in colder weather as a result of how they create climate control to begin with. Compared to furnaces, which combust fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and circulated all through your home. Assuming there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the cooler the temperature, the less effective this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to bring heat indoors to reach your desired temperature. It may depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps may 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 will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps function best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to lose out on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cooler. In fact, that’s why installing both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the expense. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to call for shifting to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models claim 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 continue running in temperatures as cold as -22°F. For optimal 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 Use a Gas Furnace?
If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, but it offers other perks including:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the capability to heat your home. It won’t always be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than shivering in an unheated home while you wait for repairs.
- Lower energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency reduces your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these systems can really add up to a lot of savings.
- Less strain on both systems – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating duties are split between the furnace and heat pump. Key components could live longer since they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Cottonwood & Prescott, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local professional technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the better option.