The thought of running both a furnace and heat pump may sound a bit unusual at first. After all, why do you need two heaters? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design actually make using both of them a viable option. It’s not for all of us, but under the right conditions you could absolutely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You'll need to think about several factors in order to determine if this sort of setup works for you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both highly important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps will function less efficiently in winter weather and larger homes. At the same time, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Mount Pleasant.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Effective in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less effective in colder weather because of how they create climate control to begin with. As opposed to furnaces, which burn fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and distributed around your home. Assuming there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the colder the temperature, the less effective this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to draw heat indoors to reach your preferred temperature. It might depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps can start to lose out on 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 is 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 lose out 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 may be worth the cost. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to call for switching to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models tout greater effectiveness 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 cold as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in severely cold weather.
So Should I Put In a Heat Pump If I Have a Gas Furnace?
If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, having a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, but it features other advantages like:
- Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the capability to heat your home. It might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than having an unheated home while you hold out for repairs
- Lower energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life span of these systems can really add up to plenty of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating duties are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Essential hardware may last longer as they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Mount Pleasant, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local certified technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.