The thought of using both a furnace and heat pump may seem a bit strange at first. After all, why do you need two heaters? Although furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design actually make employing both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for everybody, but with the right conditions you could definitely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to think about several factors in order to determine if this sort of setup works for you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both very important, especially for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps will run less effectively in colder weather and large homes. At the same time, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Lake Forest.
Heat Pumps Might Be Less Effective in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are generally less reliable in colder weather due to how they generate climate control in the first place. Unlike furnaces, which burn fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and dispersed around your home. Provided there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump should function. But the cooler the temperature, the less reliable this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to bring heat indoors to maintain your ideal temperature. It may depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps may start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which point a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?
Heat pumps work best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cold. In fact, that’s why having both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the cost. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to warrant shifting to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models tout greater efficiency in winter weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of working at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain efficient 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 Put In a Heat Pump If I Use a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it features other perks including:
- Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the ability to heat your home. It won't always be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than shivering in 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 of these heating systems can really add up to lots of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating duties are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Key components could survive longer as they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still uncertain about heat pump installation in Lake Forest, don’t hesitate to contact your local professional technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.