The idea of installing both a furnace and heat pump can feel a little unusual at first. After all, why do you need two heating systems? While furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design actually make employing both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for everyone, but in the right conditions you could definitely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to consider several factors in order to determine if this kind of setup helps you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both very important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps begin to function less efficiently in colder weather and large homes. That being said, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Northridge.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Reliable in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less effective in cooler weather because of how they generate climate control in the first place. As opposed to furnaces, which combust fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and dispersed around your home. Assuming there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump should function. But the colder the temperature, the less reliable this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to generate your ideal temperature. It can depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps can start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. 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 Perform Best In?
Heat pumps function 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 colder. After all, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the expense. 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 claim greater efficiency in cold 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 cold as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in particularly cold weather.
So Should I Put in a Heat Pump if I Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re serious 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 flexible, but it features other benefits including:
- Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the ability 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.
- Fewer energy costs – The ability to decide which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime 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 responsibilities are split between the furnace and heat pump. Essential parts could last longer given that they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Northridge, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local expert technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the better option.