The idea of using both a furnace and heat pump may feel somewhat strange at first. After all, why would you need two heaters? While furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design actually make installing both of them a potential option. It’s not for all of us, but with the right conditions you can truly benefit from having 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 square footage of your home are both especially important, especially for the heat pump. This is because numerous models of heat pumps start to function less effectively in colder weather and larger homes. Even so, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in York.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Efficient in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are generally less reliable in colder weather because of how they generate climate control in the first place. Compared to furnaces, which burn fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and circulated throughout your home. As long as there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the cooler the temperature, the less effective this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the more effort is required for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to maintain your ideal temperature. It may depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps can start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They can still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after which a gas furnace is more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?
Heat pumps work best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cold. As a matter of fact, that’s why installing 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 warrant switching to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models claim greater performance in cold 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 extreme as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to use the furnace in particularly cold weather.
So Should I Put In a Heat Pump If I Use a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system possible, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it offers other benefits including:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the ability 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 sit around for repairs
- Reduced energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life span of these systems can really add up to lots of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Key components can survive longer given that they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in York, don’t hesitate to contact your local professional 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.