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

July 19, 2022

The thought of using both a furnace and heat pump might feel a bit odd at first. After all, why do you need two heating systems? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design genuinely make using both of them a potential option. It’s not for all of us, but with the right conditions you could truly benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.

You'll need to consider several factors in order to determine if this kind of setup suits you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both especially important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps begin to function less effectively in cooler weather and bigger homes. Even so, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Beckley and Mount Hope.

Heat Pumps Might Be Less Effective in Colder Weather

Heat pumps are typically less reliable in colder weather due to how they provide climate control in the first place. As opposed to furnaces, which ignite 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. As long as there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the lower the temperature, the less reliable this process is.

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

What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?

Heat pumps function best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is colder. As a matter of fact, that’s why having 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 cool enough to warrant switching to something like a gas furnace.

Certain makes and models boast greater performance in cooler weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of operating 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 swap to the furnace in severely cold weather.

So Should I Put In a Heat Pump If I Have a Gas Furnace?

If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it features other benefits like:

  • A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the capability to heat your home. It might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than living in an unheated home while you sit around for repairs
  • Fewer energy costs – The ability to choose which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency reduces your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these heaters can really add up to a lot 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. Key components can live longer given that they’re not under continuous use.

If you’re still uncertain about heat pump installation in Beckley and Mount Hope, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local certified technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.