The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump may feel a bit odd at first. After all, why should you need two sources of heat? While furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design genuinely make using both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for all of us, but with the right conditions you could absolutely benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.
You should take a look at several factors in order to determine if this sort of setup works for you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both highly important, namely for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps will run less efficiently in winter weather and larger homes. Even so, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Michigan City.
Heat Pumps Might Be Less Efficient in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are generally less reliable in cold weather as a result of how they generate climate control to start with. Compared to furnaces, which ignite fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and dispersed all through your home. As long as there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump should function. But the colder the temperature, the less efficient this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the more effort is required for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to maintain your preferred temperature. It might depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps generally start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They can still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?
Heat pumps manage best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to sacrifice the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is colder. After all, that’s why installing both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the costs. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to call for switching to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models tout greater performance in cooler 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 low as -22°F. For optimal energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in severely cold weather.
So Should I Get a Heat Pump if I Use a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, but it offers other advantages such as:
- Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, 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.
- Lower energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these systems can really add up to plenty of savings.
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Essential parts will sometimes last longer since they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Michigan City, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local professional technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the ideal option.