The thought of running both a furnace and heat pump can sound a bit strange at first. After all, why do you need two heating systems? Although furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design actually make installing both of them a practical option. It’s not for everyone, but with the right conditions you could definitely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You'll need to think about several factors in order to decide if this kind of setup helps you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both highly important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps start to work less effectively in colder weather and bigger homes. At the same time, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Pacheco.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Effective in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less reliable in colder weather as a result of how they provide climate control to start with. As opposed to furnaces, which ignite fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and distributed throughout your home. As long as there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the cooler the temperature, the less effective this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to bring heat indoors to generate your ideal temperature. It might depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps can start to lose out on 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 Perform Best In?
Heat pumps function best in milder 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. After all, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the costs. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to call for shifting to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models feature greater effectiveness in winter weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of operating 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 use the furnace in especially cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump If I Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, having a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, but it features other perks like:
- Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the ability 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
- Fewer energy costs – The ability to pick which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency lowers 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 – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Key hardware will sometimes live longer as they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Pacheco, don’t hesitate to contact your local professional technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.