The concept of using both a furnace and heat pump might sound a bit strange at first. After all, why would you need two heaters? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design actually make employing both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for all of us, but under the right conditions you could absolutely benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to think about several factors in order to determine if this type of setup suits you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both very important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps will function less effectively in colder weather and bigger homes. At the same time, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Mechanicsburg.
Heat Pumps Might Be Less Efficient in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are generally less effective in colder weather as a result of how they generate climate control in the first place. As opposed to furnaces, which combust fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and dispersed around your home. Assuming there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the lower the temperature, the less effective 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 preferred temperature. It may depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps generally start to lose out on efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which point a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?
Heat pumps function 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. In fact, that’s why having both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the cost. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to justify shifting to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models feature greater performance in cooler weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of operating at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain efficient in temperatures as cold as -22°F. For maximum 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 Use a Gas Furnace?
If you’re serious about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system possible, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, but it provides other perks like:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the capability to heat your home. It might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than living in an unheated home while you hold out for repairs
- Reduced energy costs – The ability to decide which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency reduces 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 separated between the furnace and heat pump. Essential hardware will sometimes live longer as they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Mechanicsburg, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local certified technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.