The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump might feel a bit strange at first. After all, why do you need two sources of heat? While furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design genuinely make installing both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for everyone, but with the right conditions you can truly benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.
You should think about 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 will run less effectively in winter weather and larger homes. That being said, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Athol.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Reliable in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are generally less effective in cooler weather because of how they generate climate control in the first place. Compared to furnaces, which combust fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and circulated around your home. As long as there is still a bit of 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 more time is needed for a heat pump to bring heat indoors to maintain your ideal temperature. It might depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps may start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They can still be 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 function best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to lose out on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cold. As a matter of fact, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the costs. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to justify swapping to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models tout greater efficiency in cold weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of running at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even continue running in temperatures as extreme as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in severely cold weather.
So Should I Get a Heat Pump if I Have a Gas Furnace?
If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it features other perks like:
- 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 living in an unheated home while you hold out for repairs.
- Lower energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life span 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 responsibilities are split between the furnace and heat pump. Key hardware will sometimes survive longer as 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 professional technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.