The idea of using both a furnace and heat pump may feel a bit unusual at first. After all, why should you need two sources of heat? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design actually make installing both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for all of us, but in the right conditions you could truly benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.
You'll need to weigh several factors in order to determine if this kind of setup suits you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both very important, namely for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps will function less effectively in winter weather and bigger homes. That being said, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Troy.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Reliable in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are generally less efficient in cooler weather as a result of how they provide climate control to begin with. Unlike furnaces, which burn fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and distributed throughout your home. Assuming there is still a bit of 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 usable outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to generate your preferred temperature. It might depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps may start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They still remain 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 temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to miss out 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 might be worth the cost. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to call for shifting to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models tout greater effectiveness 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 extreme as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in especially cold weather.
So Should I Get a Heat Pump If I Have a Gas Furnace?
If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, having a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it features other perks like:
- 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 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 – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating duties are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Essential hardware will sometimes live longer since they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Troy, don’t hesitate to contact your local certified technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.