The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump can feel somewhat odd at first. After all, why would you need two heaters? Although furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design genuinely make installing both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for everybody, but under the right conditions you could truly 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 dimensions of your home are both highly important, namely for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps will run less effectively in winter weather and bigger homes. That being said, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Laurel.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Effective in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are typically less effective in cooler weather due to how they provide climate control to begin with. Unlike furnaces, which ignite fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and dispersed throughout your home. As long as there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the lower the temperature, the less effective this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to bring heat indoors to maintain your desired temperature. It might depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps can start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They should still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which point a gas furnace should 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 give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cooler. In fact, that’s why installing both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the cost. You can use 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 claim greater efficiency in cold weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of working at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even continue running in temperatures as low as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in especially cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump if I Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it provides other advantages including:
- Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, 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 choose which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these heating systems can really add up to a lot of savings.
- Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating duties are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial hardware can live longer given that they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Laurel, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local professional technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.