The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump may sound a little unusual at first. After all, why should you need two heating systems? Although furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design actually make employing both of them a practical option. It’s not for all of us, but with the right conditions you could definitely 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 helps you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both highly important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps will function less efficiently in winter weather and bigger homes. That being said, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Elk River.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Effective in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are typically less efficient in cooler weather as a result of how they create climate control to start with. As opposed to furnaces, which combust fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and circulated all through your home. As long as there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the colder the temperature, the less efficient this process is.
The less heat energy is accessible outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to pull heat indoors to generate your desired temperature. It can depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps generally start to lose out on 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 should be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?
Heat pumps manage best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is colder. As a matter of fact, that’s why having both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the expense. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to call for shifting to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models tout greater efficiency in cold 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 use the furnace in particularly cold weather.
So Should I Put In a Heat Pump If I Use 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 is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it provides other advantages like:
- Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the means to heat your home. It may not 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 pick which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency reduces your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life span 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 duties are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial components may survive longer since they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Elk River, don’t hesitate to contact your local professional technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.