The thought of using both a furnace and heat pump can feel somewhat unusual at first. After all, why would you need two sources of heat? While furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design really make using both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for everybody, but under the right conditions you can truly benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You should think about several factors in order to determine if this sort of setup helps you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both highly important, namely for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps begin to run less efficiently in colder weather and larger homes. Even so, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Greater Richmond.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Efficient in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are generally less reliable in colder weather as a result of how they create climate control to start with. Compared to furnaces, which ignite fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and distributed throughout your home. As long as there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the cooler the temperature, the less reliable this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to bring heat indoors to generate your desired temperature. It can depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps may start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. They should still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which a gas furnace is more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?
Heat pumps manage best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cooler. After all, that’s why having both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the expense. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to warrant shifting to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models feature greater effectiveness in cold weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of running at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain efficient in temperatures as extreme as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to use the furnace in severely cold weather.
So Should I Put In a Heat Pump If I Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, installing 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 fails, you still have the capability 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
- Fewer energy costs – The ability to choose which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency reduces your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life span of these heaters can really add up to lots of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating resources are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Key parts may live longer as they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Greater Richmond, don’t hesitate to contact your local professional technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the ideal option.