The thought of installing both a furnace and heat pump may sound a bit strange at first. After all, why should you need two sources of heat? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design actually make using both of them a viable option. It’s not for all of us, but under the right conditions you will truly benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You'll need to consider several factors in order to confirm if this type of setup suits you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both highly important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps begin to function less efficiently in colder weather and larger homes. At the same time, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in St. Louis.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Effective in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are typically less effective in cooler weather because of how they create climate control to start with. As opposed to furnaces, which combust fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and dispersed 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 reliable this process is.
The less heat energy is accessible outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to draw heat indoors to maintain your ideal temperature. It might depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps can start to lose out on efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They should still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which point a gas furnace should be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?
Heat pumps function best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to sacrifice the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cooler. In fact, that’s why installing both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the cost. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to warrant shifting to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models feature 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 low as -22°F. For optimal energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap 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 achievable, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it offers other benefits like:
- Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, 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
- Reduced energy costs – The ability to pick which heating system you use based on 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 – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating resources are split between the furnace and heat pump. Key parts could live longer since they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still uncertain about heat pump installation in St. Louis, don’t hesitate to contact your local expert technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the better option.