The concept of using both a furnace and heat pump may feel a bit odd at first. After all, why would you need two heating systems? While furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design really make using both of them a viable option. It’s not for all of us, but under the right conditions you could truly benefit from having 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, namely for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps begin to run less efficiently in winter weather and large homes. Even so, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Manassas.
Heat Pumps Might Be Less Reliable in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are generally less effective in cooler weather due to how they generate climate control in the first place. Unlike furnaces, which burn fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and circulated throughout your home. Provided there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump should function. But the cooler the temperature, the less effective this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the more effort is required for a heat pump to bring heat indoors to reach your preferred temperature. It might depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps generally start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. They can still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which point a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps function best in milder 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 cooler. As a matter of fact, that’s why installing both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the expense. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to call for shifting to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models tout greater efficiency in cooler weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of running at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain efficient in temperatures as cold as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in particularly cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump if I Use a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, having a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it provides other advantages including:
- Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the ability to heat your home. It might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than living in an unheated home while you wait 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 lifetime of these heaters can really add up to plenty of savings.
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating duties are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Key parts will sometimes last longer as they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still uncertain about heat pump installation in Manassas, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local professional technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the ideal option.