The thought of installing both a furnace and heat pump might sound somewhat odd at first. After all, why should you need two heaters? While furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design genuinely make using both of them a potential option. It’s not for everyone, but with the right conditions you could absolutely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You'll need to think about several factors in order to determine if this kind of setup works for you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both especially important, especially for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps begin to run less efficiently in colder weather and large homes. Even so, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Lexington.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Effective in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less effective in cooler weather due to how they create climate control to begin with. Unlike furnaces, which ignite fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and circulated around your home. Provided there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the cooler the temperature, the less efficient this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to maintain your desired temperature. It might depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps can start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. 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 Perform Best In?
Heat pumps function best in moderate 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 cooler. In fact, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the cost. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to warrant switching to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models boast greater performance in cooler weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of working at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even continue running in temperatures as cold as -22°F. For optimum 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 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 features other advantages such as:
- Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the means to heat your home. It won't always be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than having an unheated home while you wait for repairs
- Lower energy costs – The ability to decide which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these systems can really add up to plenty of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating resources are split between the furnace and heat pump. Key hardware can survive longer given that they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still uncertain about heat pump installation in Lexington, 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.