The thought of running both a furnace and heat pump may feel somewhat unusual at first. After all, why do you need two heaters? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design actually make installing both of them a potential option. It’s not for everyone, but in the right conditions you could definitely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You should take a look at several factors in order to confirm if this kind of setup helps you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both highly important, namely for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps begin to work less effectively in winter weather and larger homes. Even so, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Mankato area.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Effective in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are typically less effective in cooler weather because of how they generate climate control in the first place. Compared to furnaces, which combust fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and distributed around your home. Assuming there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the colder the temperature, the less reliable 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 desired 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 below. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which a gas furnace should be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps work best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to sacrifice 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 can be worth the expense. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to call for switching to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models claim greater effectiveness in cooler 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 low as -22°F. For optimum 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 achievable, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it offers other advantages like:
- A source of 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 shivering in an unheated home while you sit around for repairs
- Lower energy costs – The ability to choose which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life span of these systems can really add up to plenty of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating resources are split between the furnace and heat pump. Essential hardware may survive longer as they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Mankato area, don’t hesitate to contact your local certified technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.