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

July 19, 2022

The concept of running both a furnace and heat pump might seem a bit unusual at first. After all, why should you need two heating systems? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design really make using both of them a practical option. It’s not for all of us, but under the right conditions you will definitely benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.

You’ll want to think about several factors in order to confirm if this type of setup works for you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both especially important, namely for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps begin to work less effectively in winter weather and bigger homes. That being said, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Booneville.

Heat Pumps May Be Less Reliable in Winter Weather

Heat pumps are typically less effective in colder weather due to how they provide climate control to start with. Compared to furnaces, which combust fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and distributed all through your home. As long as there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the colder the temperature, the less effective this process is.

The less heat energy is accessible outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to bring heat indoors to generate your ideal temperature. It may depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps generally start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. They should still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which point a gas furnace is more effective.

What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?

Heat pumps work best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cold. As a matter of fact, that’s why having both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the cost. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to warrant switching to something like a gas furnace.

A few makes and models claim greater efficiency in winter 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 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 flexible, but it provides 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 might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than shivering in an unheated home while you hold out for repairs
  • Fewer energy costs – The ability to choose 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 – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating duties are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Key hardware could live longer given that they’re not under constant use.

If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Booneville, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local professional technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.