Should I Install a Furnace with a Heat Pump? It Depends

July 19, 2022

The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump might feel somewhat unusual at first. After all, why do you need two heaters? Although furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design really make using both of them a viable option. It’s not for everyone, but with the right conditions you will absolutely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.

You'll need to consider several factors in order to decide if this sort of setup suits you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both especially important, especially for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps begin to function less effectively in colder weather and bigger homes. Even so, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Georgetown.

Heat Pumps Can Be Less Effective in Cold Weather

Heat pumps are typically less reliable in cooler weather due to how they generate climate control to begin with. Compared to furnaces, which burn fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and distributed all through your home. As long as there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the cooler the temperature, the less efficient this process is.

The less heat energy is available outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to draw heat indoors to maintain your desired temperature. It may 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 still remain 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 function best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is colder. After all, that’s why having 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 justify swapping to something like a gas furnace.

A few makes and models claim greater efficiency in cooler 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 maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in particularly cold weather.

So Should I Get 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 adaptable, but it provides other perks including:

  • A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, 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 sit around for repairs
  • Fewer energy costs – The ability to choose which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these heaters can really add up to lots of savings
  • Less strain on both systems – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating resources are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Key hardware can last longer as they’re not under constant use.

If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Georgetown, 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 better option.