The thought of running both a furnace and heat pump might seem a little unusual at first. After all, why do you need two sources of heat? While furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design actually make employing both of them a potential option. It’s not for everybody, but in the right conditions you can truly benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to weigh several factors in order to confirm if this kind of setup helps you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both very important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps start to function less efficiently in cooler weather and bigger homes. Even so, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Manassas.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Reliable in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are typically less efficient in cold weather due to how they provide climate control to begin with. Unlike furnaces, which burn fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and circulated all through your home. Assuming there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the lower the temperature, the less reliable this process is.
The less heat energy is usable outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to pull heat indoors to generate your desired temperature. It might depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps can start to lose out on efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They can still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which a gas furnace should be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps work best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to lose out on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cold. As a matter of fact, that’s why using 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 chilly enough to call for swapping to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models claim greater effectiveness in cold weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of working at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even continue running in temperatures as extreme as -22°F. For optimal energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in severely 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, having a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it features other advantages such as:
- Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the means to heat your home. It won't always be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than having an unheated home while you sit around for repairs
- Lower energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency reduces your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life span of these heaters can really add up to plenty of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Essential hardware may live longer since they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Manassas, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local expert technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the ideal option.