The idea of using both a furnace and heat pump may feel a bit strange at first. After all, why should you need two heaters? While furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design really make using both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for all of us, but under the right conditions you will absolutely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You'll need to take a look at several factors in order to confirm if this sort of setup suits 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 will run less efficiently in cooler weather and larger homes. That being said, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Columbia.
Heat Pumps Might Be Less Effective in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are typically less reliable in cooler weather due to how they provide climate control to start with. Compared to furnaces, which combust fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and distributed all through 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 efficient this process is.
The less heat energy is usable outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to bring heat indoors to generate your preferred temperature. It can depend on the type of 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, at which a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps function best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cooler. As a matter of fact, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the cost. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to warrant switching to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models claim greater effectiveness in cold 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 low as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in particularly 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 possible, owning 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 advantages including:
- Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the means to heat your home. It might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than having an unheated home while you hold out for repairs
- Lower energy costs – The ability to pick which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life span of these systems can really add up to lots of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating resources are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Essential components may last longer as they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Columbia, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local professional technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the ideal option.