The thought of installing both a furnace and heat pump might sound a bit odd at first. After all, why would you need two heating systems? While furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design really make employing both of them a viable option. It’s not for all of us, but with the right conditions you will absolutely benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to consider several factors in order to confirm if this sort 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 many models of heat pumps will function less efficiently in colder weather and large homes. That being said, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Chelan and Wenatchee.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Effective in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less reliable in colder weather because of how they provide climate control in the first place. As opposed to furnaces, which ignite fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and dispersed all through your home. As long as there is still a bit of 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 available outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to bring heat indoors to generate your ideal temperature. It may depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps generally start to drop in 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 should be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?
Heat pumps work best in milder 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 cooler. As a matter of fact, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the costs. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to warrant swapping to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models tout greater efficiency in cooler 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 optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in especially cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump If I Use a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system possible, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, but it features other benefits such as:
- Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the capability 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 hold out for repairs
- Reduced energy costs – The ability to decide which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime of these heating systems can really add up to plenty 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. Key hardware will sometimes last longer given that they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Chelan and Wenatchee, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local professional technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.