The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump can seem somewhat strange at first. After all, why do you need two sources of heat? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design actually make employing both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for everybody, but under the right conditions you could truly benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You should consider several factors in order to confirm if this sort of setup works for you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both very important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps will work less efficiently in colder weather and large homes. At the same time, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Marshalltown.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Reliable in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are typically less efficient in cold weather as a result of how they provide climate control to start with. Unlike furnaces, which burn fuel to generate 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. Assuming there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the lower the temperature, the less effective this process is.
The less heat energy is usable outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to bring heat indoors to reach your ideal temperature. It might depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps generally start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They should still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after which a gas furnace is more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps function best in milder 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 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 cool enough to warrant swapping to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models feature greater effectiveness in winter weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of working 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 Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, having a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it offers other benefits such as:
- Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the capability to heat your home. It may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than having an unheated home while you hold out for repairs
- Fewer 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 span of these heaters can really add up to plenty of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating resources are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Key parts can live longer given that they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Marshalltown, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local certified technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the ideal option.