The thought of installing both a furnace and heat pump might sound a bit odd at first. After all, why do you need two heaters? While furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design actually make employing both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for all of us, but under the right conditions you can absolutely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to weigh several factors in order to determine if this type of setup helps you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both highly important, namely for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps will function less efficiently in winter weather and large homes. At the same time, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Brookfield.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Effective in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are typically less reliable in cold weather because of how they provide climate control to start with. As opposed to furnaces, which combust fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and circulated around your home. Provided there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump should function. But the cooler the temperature, the less efficient this process is.
The less heat energy is usable outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to draw heat indoors to reach your preferred temperature. It might depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps may start to lose out on efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. They can still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after which a gas furnace should be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps function best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to lose out on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cooler. In fact, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the expense. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to call for switching to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models tout greater performance in winter weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of running at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even continue running in temperatures as extreme as -22°F. For optimal 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 thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, having a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it features other perks including:
- Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the means to heat your home. It may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than living in an unheated home while you wait for repairs.
- Lower energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these heating systems can really add up to plenty of savings.
- Less strain on both systems – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating duties are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Essential components could last longer as they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Brookfield, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local certified technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the better option.