The concept of installing both a furnace and heat pump may sound a little unusual at first. After all, why do you need two sources of heat? While furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design really make employing both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for everybody, but under the right conditions you will truly benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to consider several factors in order to determine if this type of setup helps you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both very important, namely for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps will run less efficiently in winter weather and large homes. At the same time, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Bend.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Efficient in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are typically less reliable in colder weather because of how they create climate control to start with. Unlike furnaces, which burn fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and circulated around your home. Assuming there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the cooler the temperature, the less efficient this process is.
The less heat energy is usable outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to draw heat indoors to generate your desired temperature. It can depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps generally start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after which a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps work best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cold. In fact, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the costs. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to justify swapping to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models tout greater performance in cooler weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of running at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even continue running in temperatures as low as -22°F. For optimal energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in especially cold weather.
So Should I Put In a Heat Pump If I Have a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system possible, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it offers other perks such as:
- Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the capability to heat your home. It may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than shivering in an unheated home while you sit around for repairs
- Fewer energy costs – The ability to pick which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life span of these systems can really add up to a lot of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating duties are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial hardware will sometimes last longer as they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Bend, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local expert technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.