The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump can seem a little odd at first. After all, why should you need two sources of heat? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design really make installing both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for everybody, but with the right conditions you will definitely benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to weigh several factors in order to decide if this type of setup helps you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both especially important, namely for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps begin to work less effectively in winter weather and bigger homes. At the same time, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Rapid City.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Effective in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less effective in cold weather because of how they create climate control to begin with. As opposed to furnaces, which burn fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and distributed throughout your home. As long as there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the cooler the temperature, the less reliable this process is.
The less heat energy is accessible outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to bring heat indoors to maintain your preferred temperature. It can depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps generally start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after which a gas furnace is more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?
Heat pumps function best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. That being 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 might be worth the cost. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to justify switching to something like a gas furnace.
Certain 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 extreme as -22°F. For optimum 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 interested in 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 adaptable, 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 ability to heat your home. It may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than shivering in an unheated home while you hold out for repairs.
- Fewer 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 life of these systems can really add up to plenty of savings.
- Less strain on both systems – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Key hardware can last longer since they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Rapid City, 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 decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the better option.