The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump might seem a bit strange at first. After all, why do you need two heating systems? While furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design genuinely make employing both of them a potential option. It’s not for all of us, but in the right conditions you will definitely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You'll need to take a look at several factors in order to determine if this kind of setup works for you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both highly important, especially for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps begin to function less effectively in cooler weather and large homes. At the same time, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Auburn.
Heat Pumps Might Be Less Effective in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are generally less efficient in cold 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 supply of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and dispersed all through your home. As long as there is still a bit of 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 accessible outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to draw heat indoors to reach your ideal temperature. It may depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps may start to lose out on efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. They should still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which point a gas furnace is more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps work best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to sacrifice the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is colder. In fact, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the expense. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to justify swapping to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models boast greater efficiency in winter 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 cold as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in severely cold weather.
So Should I Install 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 is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it provides other benefits including:
- A source of 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 wait for repairs
- Fewer energy costs – The ability to choose which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency reduces your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life span of these heaters can really add up to a lot of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial components can live longer since they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still uncertain about heat pump installation in Auburn, don’t hesitate to contact 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 best option.