The idea of using both a furnace and heat pump can seem somewhat unusual at first. After all, why would you need two sources of heat? Although furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design actually make employing both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for everybody, but with the right conditions you will truly benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to take a look at several factors in order to determine if this type of setup works for you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both very important, especially for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps begin to work less effectively in colder weather and large homes. Even so, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Manassas.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Efficient in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are generally less reliable in cold weather due to how they generate climate control to begin with. Compared to furnaces, which ignite fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and dispersed all through your home. Assuming there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump will 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 pull heat indoors to generate your desired temperature. It might depend on the specific 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 should be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?
Heat pumps work best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cooler. After all, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the cost. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to warrant switching to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models boast greater performance in winter 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 optimal energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap 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 possible, installing 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 advantages like:
- Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the ability to heat your home. It may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than living 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 reduces your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime of these heaters can really add up to a lot of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating resources are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial parts will sometimes last longer since they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Manassas, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local expert technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the better option.