The idea of installing both a furnace and heat pump might sound a bit odd at first. After all, why would you need two heaters? Although furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design really make employing both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for all of us, but under the right conditions you can definitely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You should consider several factors in order to determine if this sort of setup helps you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both especially important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps start to function less effectively in colder weather and bigger homes. Even so, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Rapid City.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Reliable in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less efficient in colder weather because of how they provide climate control to begin with. Unlike furnaces, which ignite fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and distributed around your home. Provided 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 effort is required for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to reach your ideal temperature. It might depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps may start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. They can still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after which a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps function best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to sacrifice the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cold. As a matter of fact, that’s why having both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the costs. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to call for shifting to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models claim greater effectiveness in cooler weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of operating at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even continue running in temperatures as cold as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to use the furnace in particularly cold weather.
So Should I Get a Heat Pump If I Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system possible, 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 features other perks like:
- Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the means to heat your home. It might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than shivering in an unheated home while you wait for repairs
- Reduced energy costs – The ability to decide which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these heaters can really add up to lots 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. Crucial hardware can live longer given that they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Rapid City, 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.