The idea of installing both a furnace and heat pump can feel a little unusual at first. After all, why should you need two sources of heat? Although furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design genuinely make employing both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for everyone, but in the right conditions you can absolutely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You should consider several factors in order to confirm if this sort of setup works for you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both highly important, especially for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps begin to run less effectively in winter weather and large homes. That being said, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Pella.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Efficient in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less effective in cold weather due to how they generate climate control to begin with. As opposed to furnaces, which burn fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and distributed around your home. As long as there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump should function. But the cooler the temperature, the less reliable 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 can start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They should still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after which a gas furnace should be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?
Heat pumps manage 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 using both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the costs. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to justify swapping to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models claim greater efficiency in cold weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of running at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain functional in temperatures as extreme as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in particularly cold weather.
So Should I Install 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 flexible, but it features other advantages such as:
- Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the means to heat your home. It may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than living in an unheated home while you wait for repairs
- Fewer energy costs – The ability to decide which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life span of these systems can really add up to lots of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating resources are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Key components may last longer since they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Pella, don’t hesitate to contact your local certified technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.