The thought of using both a furnace and heat pump can seem somewhat odd at first. After all, why do you need two heating systems? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design really make installing both of them a viable option. It’s not for all of us, but in the right conditions you can definitely benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.
You should take a look at 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, especially for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps start to function less effectively in winter weather and larger homes. That being said, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Shamokin and Sunbury.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Efficient in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less efficient in colder weather as a result of how they generate climate control in the first place. Compared to furnaces, which ignite fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and distributed all through your home. As long as there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the cooler the temperature, the less efficient this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to pull heat indoors to generate your preferred temperature. It might depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps generally 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 will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?
Heat pumps function best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cooler. In fact, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the costs. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to call for swapping 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 working at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain functional in temperatures as low as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in severely cold weather.
So Should I Get a Heat Pump if I Use 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 warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it features other benefits like:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the means to heat your home. It may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than having an unheated home while you hold out for repairs.
- Fewer energy costs – The ability to decide which heating system you use depending 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 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 components may last longer given that they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Shamokin and Sunbury, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local certified technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.