The idea of using both a furnace and heat pump may sound a bit odd at first. After all, why would you need two heaters? Although furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design genuinely make using both of them a viable option. It’s not for all of us, but under the right conditions you can absolutely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You'll need to think about several factors in order to confirm if this sort of setup helps 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 work less effectively in cooler weather and bigger homes. At the same time, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Omaha.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Efficient in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less reliable in cooler weather because of how they create climate control to begin with. Compared to furnaces, which burn fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and distributed throughout your home. Assuming there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the colder the temperature, the less efficient this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the more effort is required for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to reach your desired temperature. It can depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps may start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They can 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 Run Best In?
Heat pumps function best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to lose out on 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 chilly enough to justify shifting 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 remain efficient in temperatures as low as -22°F. For optimal energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in severely cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump If I Have a Gas Furnace?
If you’re serious about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, but it features other perks like:
- Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the capability to heat your home. It may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than living in an unheated home while you wait for repairs
- Reduced energy costs – The ability to pick which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime of these heaters can really add up to plenty of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating duties are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial hardware will sometimes last longer as they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Omaha, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local professional technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.