The concept of using both a furnace and heat pump may seem a little strange at first. After all, why would you need two heaters? Although furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design actually make using both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for everyone, but under the right conditions you could absolutely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You'll need to consider several factors in order to confirm if this kind of setup helps you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both especially important, namely for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps start to function less efficiently in cooler weather and larger homes. At the same time, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Lincoln.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Reliable in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less efficient in colder weather as a result of how they provide climate control to begin with. As opposed to furnaces, which burn fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and distributed all through your home. Assuming there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the colder the temperature, the less effective this process is.
The less heat energy is accessible outside, the more effort is required for a heat pump to bring heat indoors to reach your desired temperature. It may depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps can start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. 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 temperate climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to lose out on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cooler. In fact, that’s why having both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the expense. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to call for switching to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models feature greater effectiveness in cold weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of operating 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 swap to the furnace in especially cold weather.
So Should I Put In a Heat Pump If I Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system possible, 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 including:
- Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the capability 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 sit around for repairs
- Lower energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these heating systems can really add up to plenty of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating duties are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Essential components will sometimes live longer since they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Lincoln, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local expert technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.