The idea of using both a furnace and heat pump can sound somewhat odd at first. After all, why do you need two sources of heat? While furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design genuinely make installing both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for everybody, but in the right conditions you could definitely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You should think about several factors in order to determine if this type of setup helps you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both very important, namely for the heat pump. This is because numerous models of heat pumps begin to work less efficiently in colder weather and bigger homes. At the same time, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Pocatello.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Efficient in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are generally less efficient in colder weather as a result of how they generate climate control to start with. Compared to furnaces, which ignite fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and circulated around your home. Provided there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump should function. But the lower the temperature, the less effective this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the more effort is required for a heat pump to draw heat indoors to reach your desired temperature. It may depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps can start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They can still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after 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. Having said that, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is colder. As a matter of fact, that’s why having both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the costs. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to warrant switching to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models feature greater efficiency in winter weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of running at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even continue running in temperatures as extreme as -22°F. For optimum 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 Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it features other benefits including:
- Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the means to heat your home. It won’t always be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than having an unheated home while you sit around for repairs.
- Lower energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency reduces your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime of these heating systems can really add up to a lot of savings.
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating duties are split between the furnace and heat pump. Essential components can live longer given that they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Pocatello, 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 better option.