The concept of using both a furnace and heat pump may sound a little odd at first. After all, why would you need two sources of heat? Although furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design genuinely make employing both of them a practical option. It’s not for all of us, but with the right conditions you can absolutely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll need to consider several factors in order to decide 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 multiple models of heat pumps start to work less efficiently in colder weather and large homes. Even so, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Lancaster.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Efficient in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are generally less reliable in cooler weather because of how they generate climate control to start with. Unlike furnaces, which combust fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and distributed throughout your home. Assuming there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the lower the temperature, the less reliable this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the more effort is required for a heat pump to bring heat indoors to reach your preferred temperature. It can depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps can start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They still remain 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 function best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to sacrifice the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cold. In fact, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the costs. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to call for switching to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models claim greater performance in cold weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of running at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain functional in temperatures as low as -22°F. For optimal 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 serious about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it provides other perks 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 might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than living in an unheated home while you wait for repairs.
- Fewer energy costs – The ability to decide which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life 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 responsibilities are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Key parts may last longer since they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still uncertain about heat pump installation in Lancaster, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local certified technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.