The concept of running both a furnace and heat pump might feel a little strange at first. After all, why do you need two heaters? Although furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design actually make using both of them a viable option. It’s not for everyone, but in the right conditions you could truly benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You should take a look at several factors in order to determine if this kind of setup helps 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 begin to run less effectively in winter weather and large homes. Even so, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Lake Forest.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Reliable in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less effective in cooler weather because of how they generate climate control to start with. As opposed to furnaces, which ignite fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and dispersed around your home. Provided there is still a little 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 accessible 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 out on efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They can still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after which a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?
Heat pumps manage best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to lose out on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cooler. After all, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the costs. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to call for shifting to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models claim greater performance in winter weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of running at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain efficient in temperatures as cold as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in particularly cold weather.
So Should I Put in a Heat Pump if I Use a Gas Furnace?
If you’re serious about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, having a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, but it provides other advantages like:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, 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.
- Reduced energy costs – The ability to choose which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency reduces your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life span of these heaters can really add up to lots of savings.
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are split between the furnace and heat pump. Key components could live longer given that they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Lake Forest, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local certified 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.