The idea of using both a furnace and heat pump can sound a bit strange at first. After all, why would you need two heating systems? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design really make using both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for everybody, but in the right conditions you can definitely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You should take a look at several factors in order to decide if this kind of setup suits you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both especially important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps begin to run less efficiently in winter weather and larger homes. Even so, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Tuscaloosa.
Heat Pumps Might Be Less Efficient in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less reliable in colder weather due to how they create climate control to begin with. Unlike furnaces, which burn fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and dispersed around your home. As long as there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the cooler the temperature, the less reliable this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to draw heat indoors to reach your ideal temperature. It may depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps may start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which point a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?
Heat pumps manage best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cooler. In fact, that’s why having 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 cool enough to warrant switching to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models feature greater effectiveness in cooler weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of operating at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even continue running in temperatures as cold as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in especially cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump If I Have a Gas Furnace?
If you’re interested in 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 versatile, but it provides other perks like:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the means to heat your home. It won't always be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than shivering in an unheated home while you wait for repairs
- Fewer energy costs – The ability to choose which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime of these heaters can really add up to plenty of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating duties are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial hardware could survive longer given that they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Tuscaloosa, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local expert technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.