The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump can seem somewhat unusual at first. After all, why should you need two heating systems? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design actually make employing both of them a viable option. It’s not for everyone, but under the right conditions you will definitely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to think about several factors in order to decide if this type of setup suits you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both especially important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because numerous models of heat pumps will run less effectively in winter weather and large homes. At the same time, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Bishop.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Reliable in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are typically less efficient in cooler weather as a result of how they create climate control to start with. Unlike furnaces, which combust fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and circulated all through your home. Provided there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the cooler the temperature, the less efficient this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to bring heat indoors to generate your preferred temperature. It can depend on the exact 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, at which a gas furnace is more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps work best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is colder. After all, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the cost. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to justify swapping to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models tout greater effectiveness in cooler weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of operating 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 particularly cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump If I Have a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it features other advantages such as:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the ability 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
- Reduced energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime 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 resources are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial hardware could live longer as they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Bishop, don’t hesitate to contact your local expert technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the ideal option.