The concept of using both a furnace and heat pump might seem a little odd at first. After all, why would you need two heating systems? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design actually make employing both of them a potential option. It’s not for everybody, but in the right conditions you can truly benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You'll need to think about several factors in order to confirm if this type of setup works for you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both especially important, namely for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps start to function less effectively in winter weather and large homes. At the same time, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Naples.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Efficient in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less efficient in colder weather due to how they generate climate control to start with. As opposed to furnaces, which burn fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and circulated throughout your home. As long as there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the colder the temperature, the less reliable this process is.
The less heat energy is usable outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to draw heat indoors to generate your preferred temperature. It might depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps generally start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. They should still be 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 moderate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to sacrifice the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cold. After all, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the costs. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to warrant switching to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models feature greater performance in cold 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 low as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in severely cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump If I Use a Gas Furnace?
If you’re serious about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system possible, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it offers other perks including:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the capability to heat your home. It might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than shivering in an unheated home while you hold out for repairs
- Lower energy costs – The ability to choose which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life span of these heaters 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. Crucial components will sometimes survive longer as they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Naples, don’t hesitate to reach out to 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 best option.