Should I Install a Furnace with a Heat Pump? It Depends

July 19, 2022

The thought of using both a furnace and heat pump can feel a little odd at first. After all, why do you need two heating systems? While furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design actually make employing both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for everyone, but in the right conditions you could definitely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.

You’ll want to weigh several factors in order to determine if this kind of setup works for you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both very important, especially for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps start to work less efficiently in winter weather and larger homes. At the same time, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Greensburg.

Heat Pumps May Be Less Reliable in Winter Weather

Heat pumps are commonly less efficient in cooler weather as a result of how they provide climate control to start with. Compared to furnaces, which combust fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and distributed around your home. Assuming there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the lower the temperature, the less reliable this process is.

The less heat energy is usable outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to reach your preferred temperature. It can depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps generally start to lose out on efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They should still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which a gas furnace is more effective.

What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?

Heat pumps function best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to give up on 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 might be worth the cost. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to justify switching to something like a gas furnace.

Some makes and models claim greater effectiveness in cooler 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 use the furnace in particularly cold weather.

So Should I Install a Heat Pump If I Use 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 is worth 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 ability to heat your home. It might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than living in an unheated home while you hold out for repairs
  • Fewer 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 lifetime of these heaters can really add up to lots of savings
  • Less strain on both systems – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Essential components could live longer given that they’re not under constant use.

If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Greensburg, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local professional technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.