The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump can sound a bit odd at first. After all, why should you need two heating systems? Although furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design really make using both of them a potential option. It’s not for all of us, but in the right conditions you could absolutely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You should weigh several factors in order to determine if this kind of setup suits you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both very important, especially for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps will function less effectively in winter weather and large homes. At the same time, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in New Castle.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Effective in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are generally less effective in colder weather because of how they generate climate control to begin with. As opposed to furnaces, which ignite fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and distributed all through your home. As long as there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump should 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 pull heat indoors to reach your desired temperature. It can depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps can 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 a gas furnace should be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps function best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cooler. As a matter of fact, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the expense. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to call for swapping to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models boast greater performance in winter weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of running at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain efficient in temperatures as extreme as -22°F. For optimal energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to use the furnace in especially cold weather.
So Should I Put In a Heat Pump If I Use a Gas Furnace?
If you’re serious about 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 advantages including:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the ability to heat your home. It won't always be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than having an unheated home while you wait for repairs
- Reduced energy costs – The ability to decide which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency reduces your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime of these heating systems can really add up to plenty of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Essential components will sometimes last longer given that they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in New Castle, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local certified technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.