The thought of running both a furnace and heat pump might seem somewhat odd at first. After all, why do you need two sources of heat? While furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design actually make employing both of them a viable option. It’s not for everyone, but under the right conditions you could truly benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You should consider several factors in order to confirm if this sort of setup helps you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both very important, especially for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps start to work less effectively in winter weather and bigger homes. At the same time, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Tucson.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Efficient in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less reliable in cooler 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 pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and circulated throughout your home. Provided there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the cooler 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 bring heat indoors to reach your ideal temperature. It may depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps may 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 should be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps work best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to sacrifice the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is colder. As a matter of fact, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the expense. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to call for switching to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models tout 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 remain efficient in temperatures as low as -22°F. For optimal 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 Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re serious about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, having a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it provides other advantages including:
- Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the capability to heat your home. It may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than shivering in an unheated home while you hold out for repairs
- Reduced energy costs – The ability to choose which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime of these heaters can really add up to lots of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Essential components can survive longer since they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Tucson, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local certified technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.