Will I Need a Furnace with a Heat Pump? It Depends

July 19, 2022

The idea of using both a furnace and heat pump might sound a bit odd at first. After all, why should you need two heaters? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design actually make employing both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for all of us, but in the right conditions you will absolutely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.

You should consider several factors in order to determine if this type of setup suits you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both very important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because numerous models of heat pumps start to work less effectively in colder weather and large homes. Even so, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Brandon.

Heat Pumps May Be Less Efficient in Winter Weather

Heat pumps are typically less reliable in cold weather as a result of how they provide climate control to begin with. As opposed to furnaces, which combust fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and circulated all through your home. As long as there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the colder 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 draw heat indoors to reach your desired temperature. It might depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps generally start to lose out on efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They should still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which point a gas furnace will be more effective.

What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?

Heat pumps work best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to lose out on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is colder. In fact, that’s why installing both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the costs. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to justify switching to something like a gas furnace.

Some makes and models boast greater effectiveness in cooler weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of working at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain functional in temperatures as low as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in especially cold weather.

So Should I Get a Heat Pump If I Own a Gas Furnace?

If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it provides other advantages like:

  • A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the ability to heat your home. It may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than having an unheated home while you sit around for repairs
  • Reduced energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency reduces your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life span of these systems can really add up to lots 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. Crucial parts could last longer as they’re not under nonstop use.

If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Brandon, don’t hesitate to get in touch with 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.