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

July 19, 2022

The thought of using both a furnace and heat pump can seem a little odd at first. After all, why should you need two heating systems? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design really make installing both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for all of us, but in the right conditions you can absolutely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.

You'll need to take a look at several factors in order to decide if this sort of setup works for you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both especially important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because numerous models of heat pumps begin to run less efficiently in cooler weather and large homes. That being said, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Huntingburg.

Heat Pumps Can Be Less Reliable in Cold Weather

Heat pumps are generally less efficient in colder weather as a result of how they provide climate control to begin with. Unlike furnaces, which ignite fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and circulated around your home. As long as there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the colder the temperature, the less efficient this process is.

The less heat energy is accessible outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to pull heat indoors to reach your desired temperature. It may depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps may start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They can still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which point a gas furnace is 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 sacrifice the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cold. In fact, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the cost. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to justify switching to something like a gas furnace.

A few makes and models feature greater effectiveness in winter 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 cold as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to use the furnace in particularly 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 achievable, owning 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 perks including:

  • Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the ability to heat your home. It might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than shivering in an unheated home while you hold out for repairs
  • Lower energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use depending on 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 – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Key components can live longer since they’re not under continuous use.

If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Huntingburg, don’t hesitate to contact your local expert technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the ideal option.