The concept of using both a furnace and heat pump may feel a bit odd at first. After all, why should you need two heaters? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design actually make using both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for everyone, but in the right conditions you can truly benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You'll need to take a look at several factors in order to decide if this sort of setup works for you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both especially important, especially for the heat pump. This is because numerous models of heat pumps will run less effectively in colder weather and bigger homes. At the same time, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Alice.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Efficient in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are generally less efficient in cold weather because of how they provide climate control to start with. Unlike furnaces, which combust fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and distributed around your home. Provided there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the lower the temperature, the less reliable this process is.
The less heat energy is accessible outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to bring heat indoors to reach your preferred temperature. It might depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps generally start to lose out on efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. They can still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after which a gas furnace is more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?
Heat pumps manage best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to lose out on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cooler. After all, that’s why installing both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the cost. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to call for swapping to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models feature greater effectiveness in cold 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 extreme as -22°F. For optimal energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in especially cold weather.
So Should I Get a Heat Pump If I Have a Gas Furnace?
If you’re serious about 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 adaptable, but it offers other perks such as:
- Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, 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 sit around for repairs
- Lower energy costs – The ability to choose which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency reduces your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these heating systems can really add up to plenty of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating duties are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Key parts could live longer given that they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Alice, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local expert technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.