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

July 19, 2022

The thought of using both a furnace and heat pump may sound a bit unusual at first. After all, why do you need two heating systems? Although furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design genuinely make using both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for everyone, but in the right conditions you can definitely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.

You should consider several factors in order to decide if this kind of setup works for you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both especially important, namely for the heat pump. This is because numerous models of heat pumps begin to function less efficiently in cooler weather and large homes. At the same time, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Norton.

Heat Pumps May Be Less Reliable in Cold Weather

Heat pumps are generally less reliable in cooler weather as a result of how they create climate control in the first place. Unlike furnaces, which combust fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and dispersed around your home. Provided there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the colder the temperature, the less effective this process is.

The less heat energy is usable outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to draw heat indoors to generate your ideal temperature. It can depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps can start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which point a gas furnace is more effective.

What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?

Heat pumps manage best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cold. As a matter of fact, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the costs. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to warrant shifting to something like a gas furnace.

Certain makes and models tout greater effectiveness in cold 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 optimal 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 serious about 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 flexible, but it offers other advantages including:

  • Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the means to heat your home. It may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than shivering in an unheated home while you wait for repairs
  • Fewer energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime of these heating systems can really add up to lots of savings
  • Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are split between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial hardware could live longer as they’re not under constant use.

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