The concept of using both a furnace and heat pump can feel somewhat strange at first. After all, why do you need two sources of heat? While furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design genuinely make installing both of them a practical option. It’s not for everybody, but under the right conditions you could truly benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.
You'll need to take a look at several factors in order to decide if this kind of setup works for you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both very important, especially for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps begin to run less efficiently in cooler weather and larger homes. At the same time, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in South Beloit and Belvidere.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Effective in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less reliable in colder weather due to how they create climate control to start with. Unlike furnaces, which burn fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and circulated all through your home. Assuming there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump will 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 preferred temperature. It can depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps generally start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps function best in temperate 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. As a matter of fact, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the costs. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to call for swapping to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models boast 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 switch to the furnace in severely cold weather.
So Should I Get a Heat Pump If I Have a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, owning 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 perks such as:
- A source of 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 having an unheated home while you wait for repairs
- Lower energy costs – The ability to decide which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency reduces your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these heating systems can really add up to lots of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating resources are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Essential parts can last longer as they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still uncertain about heat pump installation in South Beloit and Belvidere, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local expert technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.