The idea of installing both a furnace and heat pump may feel a little odd at first. After all, why do you need two heating systems? Although furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design actually make using both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for everybody, but in the right conditions you could absolutely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to weigh several factors in order to decide if this kind of setup suits you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both highly important, especially for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps start to run less efficiently in cooler weather and larger homes. Even so, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in McHenry.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Reliable in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less efficient in cold weather due to how they create climate control in the first place. Unlike furnaces, which burn fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and distributed throughout your home. As long as there is still some 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 longer it takes a heat pump to draw heat indoors to reach your desired temperature. It might depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps can start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They can still be 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 function best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to lose out on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cooler. As a matter of fact, that’s why installing 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 chilly enough to justify switching to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models feature greater effectiveness in winter 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 maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to use the furnace in severely cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump If I Have a Gas Furnace?
If you’re serious about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, but it provides other perks such as:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the capability to heat your home. It might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than living in an unheated home while you wait 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 heating systems can really add up to a lot of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating resources are split between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial components may survive longer given that they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in McHenry, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local professional technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the ideal option.