The idea of using both a furnace and heat pump may sound a little unusual at first. After all, why should you need two heating systems? While furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design really make installing both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for everyone, but under the right conditions you could absolutely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You should weigh several factors in order to decide if this kind of setup helps you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both especially important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps start to work less efficiently in winter weather and bigger homes. Even so, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in the Rio Grande Valley.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Effective in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are generally less efficient in cold weather because of how they create climate control in the first place. Compared to furnaces, which burn fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and dispersed all through your home. As long as there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump should function. But the lower the temperature, the less reliable this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to draw heat indoors to maintain your preferred temperature. It might depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps can 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, after which a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?
Heat pumps manage best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to sacrifice the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cold. In fact, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the cost. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to call for swapping to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models tout greater effectiveness in cooler weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of working at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain efficient in temperatures as low as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to use the furnace in severely cold weather.
So Should I Put In a Heat Pump If I Use a Gas Furnace?
If you’re serious about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, but it features other benefits like:
- 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 pick which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime of these systems can really add up to a lot of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are split between the furnace and heat pump. Key parts could survive longer given that they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still uncertain about heat pump installation in the Rio Grande Valley, don’t hesitate to contact your local certified technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the better option.