The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump might sound a bit strange at first. After all, why do you need two heaters? Although furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design actually make using both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for all of us, but with the right conditions you will absolutely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to consider several factors in order to confirm if this type of setup works for you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both especially important, especially for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps begin to run less efficiently in colder weather and bigger homes. Even so, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Athol.
Heat Pumps Might Be Less Effective in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less reliable in cooler weather due to how they generate climate control to begin with. As opposed to furnaces, which burn fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and circulated around your home. Assuming there is still some 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 usable outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to bring heat indoors to maintain your ideal temperature. It may depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps may start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They can still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after which a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?
Heat pumps function 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 the local climate is cooler. In fact, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the cost. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to justify shifting to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models claim greater efficiency in cooler weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of operating 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 severely cold weather.
So Should I Put in a Heat Pump if I Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re serious about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it offers other benefits including:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the capability to heat your home. It may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than shivering in an unheated home while you wait for repairs.
- Fewer energy costs – The ability to pick which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency reduces 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 – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating duties are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial parts will sometimes last longer given that they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Athol, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local certified technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.