Will I Need a Furnace with a Heat Pump? It Depends

July 19, 2022

The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump might seem somewhat unusual at first. After all, why do you need two heating systems? Although furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design actually make installing both of them a practical option. It’s not for all of us, but in the right conditions you will truly benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.

You’ll want to think about several factors in order to confirm if this sort of setup suits you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both very important, especially for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps begin to function less efficiently in winter weather and bigger homes. Even so, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Wyandotte.

Heat Pumps May Be Less Effective in Cold Weather

Heat pumps are generally less efficient in cooler weather as a result of how they generate climate control in the first place. As opposed to furnaces, which ignite fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and dispersed all through your home. As long as there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the lower the temperature, the less efficient this process is.

The less heat energy is accessible outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to draw heat indoors to reach your preferred temperature. It may depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps may start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which a gas furnace is more effective.

What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?

Heat pumps manage best in moderate 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 colder. In fact, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the costs. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to warrant switching to something like a gas furnace.

A few 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 remain functional in temperatures as cold as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in especially cold weather.

So Should I Install a Heat Pump If I Use a Gas Furnace?

If you’re serious about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, having a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it offers other benefits such as:

  • Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the capability to heat your home. It won't always be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than living in an unheated home while you sit around for repairs
  • Lower energy costs – The ability to pick which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency reduces your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime 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 duties are split between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial parts may live longer since they’re not under nonstop use.

If you’re still uncertain about heat pump installation in Wyandotte, don’t hesitate to contact your local professional technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.