The idea of installing both a furnace and heat pump may feel somewhat strange at first. After all, why do you need two sources of heat? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design really make installing both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for all of us, but with the right conditions you will truly benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You should consider several factors in order to decide if this type of setup suits you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both very important, especially for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps will run less efficiently in cooler weather and large homes. At the same time, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Phoenix.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Reliable in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are typically less efficient in cold weather because of how they generate climate control to begin with. As opposed to furnaces, which ignite fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and distributed around your home. Provided there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump should 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 pull heat indoors to generate your ideal temperature. It might depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps may 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 will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps work 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. After all, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the cost. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to call for swapping to something like a gas furnace.
Some 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 continue running in temperatures as extreme as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to use the furnace in especially cold weather.
So Should I Put In a Heat Pump If I Use a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, 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 shivering in an unheated home while you wait for repairs
- Lower energy costs – The ability to choose which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency reduces your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime of these heating systems can really add up to a lot of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are split between the furnace and heat pump. Key parts could live longer as they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still uncertain about heat pump installation in Phoenix, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local professional technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the ideal option.