The concept of running both a furnace and heat pump may seem a little strange at first. After all, why do you need two sources of heat? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both offer 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 under the right conditions you can absolutely benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.
You should consider several factors in order to confirm if this kind 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 numerous models of heat pumps begin to run less effectively in winter weather and large homes. That being said, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Mobile.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Effective in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are generally less effective in colder weather because of how they provide climate control in the first place. As opposed to furnaces, which burn fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and circulated throughout your home. Assuming there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the cooler 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 maintain your ideal temperature. It can depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps can start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which point a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?
Heat pumps work best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cold. As a matter of fact, that’s why installing both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the costs. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to warrant swapping to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models claim greater effectiveness 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 cold as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to use the furnace in especially cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump If I Use a Gas Furnace?
If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it offers other advantages including:
- Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, 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 hold out for repairs
- Lower energy costs – The ability to decide which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime of these 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 divided between the furnace and heat pump. Essential parts may survive longer since they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Mobile, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local professional technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.