The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump may feel somewhat odd at first. After all, why would you need two heaters? While furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design genuinely make using both of them a potential option. It’s not for everybody, but under the right conditions you will definitely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to think about several factors in order to decide 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 start to work less effectively in winter weather and bigger homes. That being said, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Columbus.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Efficient in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less reliable in cooler weather because of how they provide climate control to begin with. Compared to furnaces, which burn fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and dispersed around your home. As long as there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump should function. But the cooler the temperature, the less efficient this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the more effort is required for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to generate your desired temperature. It may depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps can 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 is more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?
Heat pumps manage best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is colder. In fact, that’s why having both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the expense. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to warrant swapping 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 working at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain efficient in temperatures as cold as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in particularly cold weather.
So Should I Put In a Heat Pump If I Have a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system possible, installing 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 perks like:
- 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 living in an unheated home while you hold out for repairs
- Fewer energy costs – The ability to decide which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life span 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. Crucial parts may survive longer given that they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Columbus, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local professional technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the better option.