The thought of installing both a furnace and heat pump may seem a bit odd at first. After all, why do you need two heating systems? Although furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design genuinely make using both of them a potential option. It’s not for everyone, but in the right conditions you could definitely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You should think about several factors in order to decide if this sort of setup suits you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both very important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because numerous models of heat pumps will work less efficiently in colder weather and large homes. That being said, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Sacramento.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Reliable in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are typically less reliable in cold weather as a result of how they provide climate control in the first place. Compared to furnaces, which combust fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and distributed throughout your home. Provided there is still some 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 more effort is required for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to maintain your desired temperature. It may depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps may start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which point a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?
Heat pumps work best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to sacrifice the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is colder. In fact, that’s why having both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the costs. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to justify 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 operating at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain efficient in temperatures as low as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in particularly cold weather.
So Should I Put in a Heat Pump if I Use a Gas Furnace?
If you’re serious about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it offers other benefits including:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the means 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.
- Lower energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these systems can really add up to plenty of savings.
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating resources are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Key components may last longer given that they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Sacramento, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local certified technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.