The thought of running both a furnace and heat pump may feel somewhat strange at first. After all, why should you need two sources of heat? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design actually make installing both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for all of us, but in the right conditions you can absolutely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll need to take a look at several factors in order to determine if this kind of setup suits you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both especially important, namely for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps will work less efficiently in colder weather and bigger homes. That being said, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Kearney.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Efficient in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are typically less efficient in colder weather due to how they provide climate control in the first place. Unlike furnaces, which ignite fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and dispersed around your home. Assuming there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the cooler the temperature, the less efficient this process is.
The less heat energy is usable outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to reach your ideal temperature. It may depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps generally start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. 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 work best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to lose out on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cooler. In fact, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the costs. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to call for shifting to something like a gas furnace.
Certain 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 remain functional in temperatures as cold as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in particularly cold weather.
So Should I Put in a Heat Pump if I Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking 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 versatile, but it provides other perks 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 having an unheated home while you wait for repairs.
- Lower 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 a lot of savings.
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating duties are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Essential components can last longer given that they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Kearney, don’t hesitate to contact your local certified technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.