Should I Install a Furnace with a Heat Pump? It Depends

July 19, 2022

The idea of installing both a furnace and heat pump might sound somewhat unusual at first. After all, why should you need two heaters? Although furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design really make using both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for everyone, but with the right conditions you could truly benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.

You’ll want to consider several factors in order to confirm if this type of setup works for you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both especially important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps begin to run less efficiently in winter weather and bigger homes. Even so, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Zelienople.

Heat Pumps Can Be Less Effective in Cold Weather

Heat pumps are generally less effective in colder weather as a result of how they generate climate control to start with. Unlike furnaces, which burn fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and distributed all through your home. Provided 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 draw heat indoors to generate your ideal temperature. It may depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps may start to lose 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 Work Best In?

Heat pumps function best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is colder. In fact, that’s why installing 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 cool enough to call for switching to something like a gas furnace.

Certain makes and models boast greater performance in cooler weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of running at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even continue running in temperatures as cold as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in especially cold weather.

So Should I Put In a Heat Pump If I Have a Gas Furnace?

If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system possible, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it offers other advantages such as:

  • Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the capability to heat your home. It may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than living in an unheated home while you wait for repairs
  • Reduced energy costs – The ability to pick which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime of these systems can really add up to lots of savings
  • Less strain on both systems – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating duties are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Essential parts can live longer since they’re not under constant use.

If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Zelienople, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local professional technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the better option.