The idea of using both a furnace and heat pump might sound somewhat strange at first. After all, why should you need two heaters? Although furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design actually make installing both of them a viable option. It’s not for all of us, but under the right conditions you can truly benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You should weigh several factors in order to decide if this kind of setup suits you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both very important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps start to function less efficiently in colder weather and larger homes. Even so, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Cape Coral.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Reliable in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less effective in cooler weather as a result of how they generate climate control in the first place. As opposed to furnaces, which combust fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and circulated 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 accessible outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to reach your ideal temperature. It might depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps may start to lose out on 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 Work Best In?
Heat pumps work best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cold. As a matter of fact, that’s why using 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 justify swapping to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models tout greater efficiency in cold weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of working at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain functional in temperatures as extreme as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to use the furnace in especially cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump If I Have a Gas Furnace?
If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, having 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 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 may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than having an unheated home while you sit around for repairs
- Reduced energy costs – The ability to choose which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency reduces your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life 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 resources are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Essential hardware could survive longer as they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still uncertain about heat pump installation in Cape Coral, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local expert technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.