The idea of installing both a furnace and heat pump can sound a bit unusual at first. After all, why would you need two heating systems? Although furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design really make installing both of them a viable option. It’s not for everyone, but under the right conditions you could absolutely benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to take a look at several factors in order to confirm if this sort of setup works for you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both very important, especially for the heat pump. This is because numerous models of heat pumps will work less effectively in cooler weather and larger homes. That being said, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Auburn.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Effective in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are generally less efficient in colder weather as a result of how they generate climate control to begin with. Compared to furnaces, which combust fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and dispersed around your home. Assuming there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the lower the temperature, the less efficient 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 ideal temperature. It may depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps can start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They can still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps manage best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to lose out on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cooler. As a matter of fact, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the cost. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to warrant shifting to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models tout greater effectiveness 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 maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in particularly cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump if I Use a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system possible, having a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it provides other advantages such as:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the ability to heat your home. It might 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 based on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life 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 duties are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Essential components can survive longer given that they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Auburn, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local expert technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the better option.