The concept of running both a furnace and heat pump may seem a little strange at first. After all, why should you need two heaters? While furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design genuinely make installing both of them a viable option. It’s not for all of us, but under the right conditions you could truly benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to consider several factors in order to confirm if this type of setup helps you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both highly important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps begin to work less efficiently in cooler weather and large homes. Even so, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Chelan and Wenatchee.
Heat Pumps Might Be Less Reliable in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are generally less efficient in colder weather due to how they create climate control in the first place. Unlike furnaces, which combust fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and circulated all through your home. Provided there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the colder the temperature, the less effective this process is.
The less heat energy is usable outside, the more effort is required for a heat pump to bring heat indoors to reach your ideal 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 still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after which a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?
Heat pumps function best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to sacrifice the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is colder. After all, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the costs. 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.
Some makes and models claim greater effectiveness in cold weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of operating at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain efficient in temperatures as low as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in particularly cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump if I Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, having a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it provides other benefits like:
- Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the capability to heat your home. It won’t always be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than living in an unheated home while you wait for repairs.
- Fewer energy costs – The ability to pick which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime of these heaters can really add up to lots of savings.
- Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Essential components will sometimes live longer since they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Chelan and Wenatchee, don’t hesitate to contact your local certified technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.