The thought of running both a furnace and heat pump may sound a bit odd at first. After all, why would you need two heating systems? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design actually make installing both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for everyone, but in the right conditions you can truly benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You should weigh several factors in order to determine if this kind of setup helps you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both highly important, namely for the heat pump. This is because numerous models of heat pumps will run less efficiently in winter weather and larger homes. That being said, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Cedar Rapids.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Effective in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less reliable in cold weather as a result of how they create climate control to start with. Unlike furnaces, which burn fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and circulated throughout your home. Assuming there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the lower the temperature, the less effective this process is.
The less heat energy is usable outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to maintain your preferred temperature. It may depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps can start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They can still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which point a gas furnace should be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps manage best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to sacrifice the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cold. As a matter of fact, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the cost. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to call for swapping to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models boast greater efficiency in winter weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of running at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain efficient in temperatures as cold as -22°F. For optimal energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in particularly cold weather.
So Should I Put in a Heat Pump if I Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system possible, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it features other benefits such as:
- Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the means to heat your home. It won’t always 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 according to the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these heaters can really add up to a lot of savings.
- Less strain on both systems – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are split between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial components could last longer since they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Cedar Rapids, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local professional technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the ideal option.