The idea of running 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 actually make employing both of them a practical option. It’s not for everybody, but under the right conditions you can definitely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You'll need to consider several factors in order to confirm if this kind of setup suits you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both very important, namely for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps start to work less effectively in cooler weather and larger homes. That being said, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Crystal and Twin Cities.
Heat Pumps Might Be Less Efficient in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are typically less reliable in cooler weather because of how they generate climate control to begin with. Compared to furnaces, which ignite fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and dispersed around your home. Assuming there is still a little 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 usable outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to reach your ideal temperature. It can depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps can start to lose out on efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They can still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which a gas furnace should be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps work best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is colder. In fact, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the expense. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to call for switching to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models claim greater efficiency 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 low as -22°F. For optimal energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in particularly cold weather.
So Should I Put In a Heat Pump If I Use a Gas Furnace?
If you’re serious about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system possible, 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 advantages such as:
- Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the ability 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 lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these heaters can really add up to plenty of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating duties are split between the furnace and heat pump. Key hardware can survive longer since they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Crystal and Twin Cities, don’t hesitate to contact your local expert technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.