The concept of running both a furnace and heat pump can feel a little strange at first. After all, why should you need two heaters? Although furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design really make employing both of them a viable option. It’s not for all of us, but with the right conditions you can absolutely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to weigh several factors in order to confirm if this kind of setup helps you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both very important, namely for the heat pump. This is because numerous models of heat pumps begin to work less effectively in colder weather and larger homes. Even so, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Erie.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Effective in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are generally less reliable in cold weather due to how they provide climate control to begin with. Unlike 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 distributed around your home. Provided there is still a bit of 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 available outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to draw heat indoors to reach your ideal temperature. It might depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps generally start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They still remain 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 function best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to lose out on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cooler. After all, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the costs. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to warrant swapping to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models boast greater effectiveness in cold weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of working at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even continue running in temperatures as low 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 Use a Gas Furnace?
If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it offers other benefits 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 shivering in an unheated home while you wait for repairs
- Lower energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime of these heating systems can really add up to lots of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating resources are split between the furnace and heat pump. Essential hardware could live longer since they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Erie, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local professional technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the better option.