The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump might feel a little strange at first. After all, why do you need two heaters? Although furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design actually make using both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for everybody, but in the right conditions you will truly benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to take a look at several factors in order to determine if this kind of setup suits you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both very important, namely for the heat pump. This is because numerous models of heat pumps will function less efficiently in winter weather and bigger homes. At the same time, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Siloam Springs.
Heat Pumps Might Be Less Efficient in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less reliable in colder weather as a result of how they generate climate control in the first place. As opposed to furnaces, which burn fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and dispersed throughout your home. Provided 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 accessible outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to bring heat indoors to maintain your preferred temperature. It can depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps generally start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. They should still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?
Heat pumps work best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cold. In fact, that’s why installing both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the expense. 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 claim greater performance in cooler weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of operating at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain functional in temperatures as cold as -22°F. For optimal energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to use the furnace in especially cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump If I Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it offers other advantages including:
- A source of 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 having an unheated home while you hold out for repairs
- Fewer energy costs – The ability to choose which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life span of these systems can really add up to a lot of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating resources are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial parts can live longer given that they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Siloam Springs, 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 right option.