The thought of using both a furnace and heat pump might sound a little strange at first. After all, why do you need two heating systems? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design genuinely make using both of them a practical option. It’s not for everybody, but with the right conditions you can definitely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You should consider several factors in order to confirm if this type of setup suits you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both highly important, especially for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps start to run less effectively in winter weather and large homes. Even so, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Florissant.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Effective in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less reliable in cooler weather due to how they provide climate control to begin with. As opposed to furnaces, which ignite fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and dispersed all through your home. Assuming there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump can 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 ideal temperature. It might depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps may start to drop in 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 Perform Best In?
Heat pumps manage best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to lose out on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cold. In fact, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the costs. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to call for switching to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models claim greater effectiveness in cold 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 low as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in especially cold weather.
So Should I Get a Heat Pump If I Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, having a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it offers other benefits such as:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, 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
- Fewer energy costs – The ability to pick which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these heating systems can really add up to plenty of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating resources are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Essential hardware may last longer since they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Florissant, don’t hesitate to contact your local expert technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.