The idea of using both a furnace and heat pump can feel somewhat odd at first. After all, why would you need two heating systems? While furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design genuinely make employing both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for all of us, but under the right conditions you can truly benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You should take a look at several factors in order to decide if this sort 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 many models of heat pumps will run less efficiently in cooler weather and large homes. Even so, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Shamokin and Sunbury.
Heat Pumps Might Be Less Reliable in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less effective in colder weather due to how they create climate control to begin with. Unlike furnaces, which burn fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and dispersed around your home. As long as there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump should function. But the colder the temperature, the less effective this process is.
The less heat energy is accessible outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to draw heat indoors to maintain 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 colder. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which point a gas furnace should be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?
Heat pumps manage best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cold. As a matter of fact, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the cost. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to justify shifting 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 operating at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain efficient in temperatures as cold as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in severely cold weather.
So Should I Install 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 flexible, but it provides other advantages including:
- Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the capability to heat your home. It may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than having an unheated home while you wait for repairs.
- Lower energy costs – The ability to decide which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency decreases 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 – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating duties are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Key hardware may last longer as they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Shamokin and Sunbury, don’t hesitate to contact your local professional technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.