The thought of installing both a furnace and heat pump may sound a bit strange at first. After all, why do you need two sources of heat? Although furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design genuinely make installing both of them a potential option. It’s not for everyone, but with the right conditions you will definitely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to weigh several factors in order to determine if this kind of setup works for you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both very important, especially for the heat pump. This is because numerous models of heat pumps will function less efficiently in colder weather and bigger homes. That being said, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Cedar Rapids.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Reliable in Colder 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 burn fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and distributed throughout your home. Assuming there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the cooler the temperature, the less effective this process is.
The less heat energy is accessible outside, the more effort is required for a heat pump to bring heat indoors to generate your desired temperature. It may depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps may start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. They can 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 function best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to lose out on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cooler. After all, that’s why owning 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 cold enough to warrant shifting to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models claim greater performance in cold weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of running at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain functional in temperatures as low as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to use the furnace in especially cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump if I Have a Gas Furnace?
If you’re serious about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it offers other perks like:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the ability to heat your home. It won’t always be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than having an unheated home while you wait for repairs.
- Fewer energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use based on 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. Crucial hardware may survive longer given that they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Cedar Rapids, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local expert technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.