The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump may sound somewhat odd at first. After all, why do you need two heating systems? While furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design genuinely make installing both of them a viable option. It’s not for all of us, but in the right conditions you will truly benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll need to weigh several factors in order to decide if this sort of setup suits you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both especially important, especially for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps begin to run less effectively in colder weather and large homes. Even so, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Columbia.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Effective in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are generally less effective in cold weather because of how they create climate control to start with. As opposed to furnaces, which burn fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and distributed throughout your home. Assuming there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the cooler the temperature, the less reliable 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 preferred temperature. It can depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps may start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They should still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which a gas furnace is more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps work best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cooler. After all, that’s why having both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the expense. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to call for 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 working at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain efficient in temperatures as extreme as -22°F. For maximum 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 Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re serious about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it features other advantages such as:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the ability to heat your home. It might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than shivering in an unheated home while you hold out for repairs.
- Lower energy costs – The ability to pick which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these systems can really add up to plenty 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. Essential parts could survive longer given that they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Columbia, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local expert technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.