The thought of installing both a furnace and heat pump can seem a bit strange at first. After all, why should you need two sources of heat? While furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design really make employing both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for all of us, but with the right conditions you will truly benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You should consider several factors in order to decide if this kind of setup helps you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both highly important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps start to function less effectively in winter weather and large homes. That being said, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Wharton.
Heat Pumps Might Be Less Effective in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are typically less effective in cold weather because of how they generate climate control in the first place. Unlike furnaces, which burn fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and distributed around your home. As long as there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the colder the temperature, the less efficient this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to draw heat indoors to generate your preferred temperature. It might depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps generally start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. They should still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after which a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?
Heat pumps function best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cooler. In fact, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the costs. 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.
Some makes and models boast greater efficiency in cooler 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 particularly cold weather.
So Should I Put In a Heat Pump If I Have a Gas Furnace?
If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, having a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it offers other benefits such as:
- Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the means 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 sit around for repairs
- Lower energy costs – The ability to pick which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these heaters can really add up to lots of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are split between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial hardware may survive longer given that they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Wharton, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local professional technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the better option.