The idea of using both a furnace and heat pump may seem somewhat strange at first. After all, why should you need two heating systems? While furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design actually make employing both of them a potential option. It’s not for everybody, but under the right conditions you could absolutely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You'll need to think about several factors in order to confirm if this kind of setup suits you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both highly important, namely for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps start to function less effectively in cooler weather and larger homes. Even so, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in West Columbia.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Efficient in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are generally less reliable in cooler weather because of how they generate climate control to begin with. Unlike furnaces, which combust fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and distributed around 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 efficient this process is.
The less heat energy is accessible outside, the more effort is required for a heat pump to bring heat indoors to generate your preferred temperature. It might depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps may start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. 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 moderate climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cold. As a matter of fact, that’s why installing both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the costs. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to justify shifting to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models boast greater effectiveness in winter weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of operating at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain functional in temperatures as extreme as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in severely 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 available, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it features other benefits like:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the capability 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 sit around for repairs
- Lower energy costs – The ability to decide which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency reduces your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these systems can really add up to lots of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Key hardware can last longer given that they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in West Columbia, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local expert technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the ideal option.