Will I Need a Furnace with a Heat Pump? It Depends

July 19, 2022

The concept of installing both a furnace and heat pump can feel somewhat odd at first. After all, why should you need two heating systems? While furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design actually make using both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for everybody, but with the right conditions you can definitely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.

You’ll want to consider several factors in order to determine if this type of setup suits you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both very important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps start to work less efficiently in winter weather and large homes. Even so, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Dayton.

Heat Pumps Might Be Less Effective in Cold Weather

Heat pumps are generally less efficient in cooler weather due to how they create climate control to start with. Unlike furnaces, which ignite fuel to generate 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 will function. But the cooler the temperature, the less efficient this process is.

The less heat energy is available outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to draw heat indoors to maintain your preferred temperature. It may depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps can start to drop in 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 Perform Best In?

Heat pumps work best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cold. As a matter of fact, that’s why installing both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the expense. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to call for shifting to something like a gas furnace.

A few makes and models feature greater performance 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 severely cold weather.

So Should I Put In a Heat Pump If I Own a Gas Furnace?

If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, but it offers other perks such as:

  • Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the means to heat your home. It may not 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 pick which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these systems can really add up to a lot of savings
  • Less strain on both systems – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating resources are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Essential parts could last longer given that they’re not under constant use.

If you’re still uncertain about heat pump installation in Dayton, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local expert technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.