The thought of using both a furnace and heat pump can seem somewhat odd at first. After all, why should you need two heating systems? While furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design genuinely make using both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for everyone, but with the right conditions you could absolutely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll need to weigh several factors in order to confirm if this sort of setup suits you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both especially important, especially for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps start to work less efficiently in colder weather and large homes. At the same time, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Buellton.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Effective in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less reliable in colder weather as a result of how they generate climate control in the first place. Unlike furnaces, which burn fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and circulated all through your home. Assuming there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the cooler the temperature, the less reliable this process is.
The less heat energy is usable outside, the more effort is required for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to reach your ideal temperature. It might depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps generally start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They should still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after which a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?
Heat pumps work best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to sacrifice 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 might be worth the cost. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to call for switching 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 working at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain functional in temperatures as extreme as -22°F. For optimal 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 Have a Gas Furnace?
If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system possible, having a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it features other benefits such as:
- Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, 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.
- Reduced energy costs – The ability to choose which heating system you use depending 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 given that they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Buellton, don’t hesitate to contact your local certified technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.