The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump might seem a bit odd at first. After all, why would you need two heating systems? While furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design actually make using both of them a potential option. It’s not for everyone, but with the right conditions you can truly benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to think about several factors in order to confirm if this kind of setup suits you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both highly important, namely for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps start to work less efficiently in cooler weather and bigger homes. At the same time, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Pflugerville.
Heat Pumps Might Be Less Efficient in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are typically less effective in cooler weather due to how they create climate control to start with. Compared 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 drawn inside and distributed throughout your home. Assuming there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump should function. But the lower the temperature, the less efficient this process is.
The less heat energy is accessible outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to draw heat indoors to maintain your desired temperature. It may 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 should still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which point 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. Having said that, 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 owning both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the costs. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to justify switching to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models tout greater efficiency in winter weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of running 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 swap to the furnace in especially cold weather.
So Should I Get a Heat Pump if I Have a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it provides other benefits such as:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the means to heat your home. It may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than shivering in an unheated home while you sit around for repairs.
- Reduced energy costs – The ability to choose which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency reduces your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these heating systems can really add up to lots of savings.
- Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating resources are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Key hardware may last longer given that they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Pflugerville, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local certified 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.