The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump can feel a bit odd at first. After all, why should you need two heating systems? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design actually make using both of them a potential option. It’s not for all of us, but under the right conditions you can truly benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You'll need to weigh several factors in order to determine if this sort of setup works for you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both especially important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because numerous models of heat pumps will function less efficiently in winter weather and larger homes. That being said, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Arlington.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Effective in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are generally less effective in cold weather as a result of how they generate climate control to start with. Compared to furnaces, which combust fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and distributed around your home. Provided there is still a little 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 generate your ideal temperature. It might depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps generally start to lose out on efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after which a gas furnace is more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?
Heat pumps work best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to sacrifice the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is colder. After all, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the cost. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to call for swapping to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models tout greater efficiency in winter 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 cold as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in especially cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump If I Use a Gas Furnace?
If you’re serious about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, having a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, but it offers other benefits including:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the capability to heat your home. It might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than having an unheated home while you hold out for repairs
- Reduced energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these heating 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 separated between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial components will sometimes live longer since they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Arlington, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local professional technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.