The concept of using both a furnace and heat pump may seem a little unusual at first. After all, why should you need two sources of heat? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design really make installing both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for everyone, but under the right conditions you will definitely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You should take a look at several factors in order to decide if this type of setup works for you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both especially important, namely for the heat pump. This is because numerous models of heat pumps start to run less efficiently in winter weather and bigger homes. At the same time, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Middletown.
Heat Pumps Might Be Less Reliable in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are typically less reliable in colder weather because of how they create climate control in the first place. Compared to furnaces, which ignite fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and circulated around your home. Assuming there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the lower the temperature, the less effective this process is.
The less heat energy is usable outside, the more effort is required for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to maintain your desired temperature. It can depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps generally start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?
Heat pumps work best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cooler. In 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 swapping to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models boast greater efficiency in winter weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of operating at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even continue running in temperatures as cold 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 interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it provides other benefits including:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the ability 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 sit around for repairs
- Lower energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime 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 resources are split between the furnace and heat pump. Key parts can survive longer as they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Middletown, don’t hesitate to contact your local expert technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.