The idea of installing both a furnace and heat pump can sound a bit unusual at first. After all, why would you need two sources of heat? Although furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design really make using both of them a practical option. It’s not for everyone, but in the right conditions you will absolutely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to weigh several factors in order to decide if this type of setup works for you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both highly important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps start to run less effectively in cooler weather and large homes. At the same time, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Muskogee.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Reliable in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are typically less reliable in colder weather because of how they create climate control to start with. As opposed to furnaces, which ignite fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and distributed throughout your home. Provided 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 available outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to bring heat indoors to maintain your ideal temperature. It can depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps can start to lose out on efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They should still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after which a gas furnace should be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?
Heat pumps work best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to sacrifice the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is colder. After all, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the costs. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to justify shifting to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models boast 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 efficient in temperatures as low 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 Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system possible, 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 features other perks such as:
- Reliable 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 sit around for repairs
- Reduced energy costs – The ability to decide which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime of these heating systems can really add up to a lot of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are split between the furnace and heat pump. Essential hardware can survive longer since they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Muskogee, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local expert technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the better option.