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

July 19, 2022

The idea of using both a furnace and heat pump might seem somewhat odd at first. After all, why do you need two heaters? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design actually make using both of them a viable option. It’s not for everybody, but in the right conditions you can definitely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.

You'll need to think about several factors in order to confirm if this sort of setup suits you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both especially important, especially for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps start to function less effectively in cooler weather and large homes. At the same time, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Neptune City.

Heat Pumps Can Be Less Effective in Winter Weather

Heat pumps are typically less reliable in cooler weather because of how they provide climate control to begin with. Compared to furnaces, which burn fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and dispersed around your home. Assuming there is still some 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 generate your desired temperature. It can depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps can 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 manage best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cooler. After all, 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 chilly enough to justify shifting to something like a gas furnace.

Some makes and models boast greater performance in cold 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 optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in severely cold weather.

So Should I Install a Heat Pump If I Use a Gas Furnace?

If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, owning 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 advantages such as:

  • Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, 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 sit around for repairs
  • Lower energy costs – The ability to choose which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life span of these heating systems can really add up to lots 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. Essential components will sometimes live longer as they’re not under continuous use.

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