The thought of running both a furnace and heat pump can seem a little odd at first. After all, why would you need two heating systems? While furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design genuinely make installing both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for all of us, but with the right conditions you will definitely benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to take a look at several factors in order to decide if this kind of setup helps you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both very important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because numerous models of heat pumps begin to function less effectively in cooler weather and larger homes. At the same time, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Pflugerville.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Efficient in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are typically less effective in cooler weather due to how they provide climate control to begin with. Unlike furnaces, which burn fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and dispersed throughout your home. Assuming there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the colder the temperature, the less reliable this process is.
The less heat energy is usable outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to generate your ideal temperature. It can depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps generally start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which a gas furnace should be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?
Heat pumps work best in moderate 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 cooler. After all, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the cost. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to justify switching to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models claim greater performance in cooler weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of working at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even continue running in temperatures as extreme as -22°F. For optimal energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in especially cold weather.
So Should I Get a Heat Pump If I Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, but it provides other advantages like:
- Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the capability to heat your home. It may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than living in an unheated home while you sit around for repairs
- Fewer energy costs – The ability to pick which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these heating systems can really add up to a lot of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating resources are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial hardware may live longer given that they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Pflugerville, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local expert technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the ideal option.