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

July 19, 2022

The idea of using both a furnace and heat pump can sound somewhat odd at first. After all, why would you need two heating systems? Although furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design genuinely make using both of them a potential option. It’s not for everyone, but with the right conditions you can definitely benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.

You’ll want to weigh several factors in order to decide if this kind of setup suits you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both highly important, especially for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps will work less effectively in winter weather and bigger homes. That being said, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Holdrege.

Heat Pumps May Be Less Efficient in Colder Weather

Heat pumps are commonly less efficient in cooler weather due to how they provide climate control to start with. Compared to furnaces, which ignite fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and circulated throughout your home. Provided there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the cooler the temperature, the less efficient this process is.

The less heat energy is accessible outside, the more effort is required for a heat pump to bring heat indoors to maintain your ideal temperature. It can depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps generally start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They should still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which a gas furnace should be more effective.

What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?

Heat pumps manage best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is colder. As a matter of fact, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the costs. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool 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 functional in temperatures as extreme as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in particularly cold weather.

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

If you’re serious about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it features other perks such as:

  • 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 may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than shivering in an unheated home while you hold out for repairs
  • Reduced 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 heating systems can really add up to plenty of savings
  • Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are split between the furnace and heat pump. Essential parts may last longer since they’re not under constant use.

If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Holdrege, don’t hesitate to contact your local professional technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the ideal option.