Should I Install a Furnace with a Heat Pump? It Depends

July 19, 2022

The concept of installing both a furnace and heat pump may sound somewhat strange at first. After all, why would you need two heating systems? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design really make employing both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for everyone, but in the right conditions you will definitely benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.

You'll need to think about several factors in order to confirm if this kind of setup works for 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 function less efficiently in colder weather and large homes. At the same time, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Genoa.

Heat Pumps May Be Less Effective in Winter Weather

Heat pumps are generally less effective in colder weather because of how they create climate control to start with. Unlike furnaces, which ignite fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and circulated throughout your home. Provided there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the lower the temperature, the less efficient this process is.

The less heat energy is accessible outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to reach your desired temperature. It can depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps generally start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which point a gas furnace should be more effective.

What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?

Heat pumps manage best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cold. After all, that’s why installing both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the cost. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to justify switching to something like a gas furnace.

Some makes and models boast greater efficiency in cold weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of working 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 switch to the furnace in particularly cold weather.

So Should I Get a Heat Pump If I Use 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 deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it offers other perks including:

  • A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the ability to heat your home. It won't always 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 select which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency reduces your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life span of these heaters can really add up to lots of savings
  • Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Essential components will sometimes live longer given that they’re not under continuous use.

If you’re still uncertain about heat pump installation in Genoa, don’t hesitate to contact your local certified technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.