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

July 19, 2022

The concept of installing both a furnace and heat pump can sound somewhat strange at first. After all, why should you need two sources of heat? Although furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design really make installing both of them a potential option. It’s not for all of us, but under the right conditions you can absolutely benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.

You’ll want to consider several factors in order to determine if this kind of setup suits you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both highly important, especially for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps begin to work less effectively in winter weather and larger homes. At the same time, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Temple/Belton.

Heat Pumps May Be Less Efficient in Colder Weather

Heat pumps are typically less efficient in cooler weather because of how they provide climate control in the first place. Unlike furnaces, which burn fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and dispersed all through your home. Provided there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the cooler the temperature, the less reliable this process is.

The less heat energy is available outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to draw heat indoors to maintain your preferred temperature. It might depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps can start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. They should still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which point a gas furnace will be more effective.

What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?

Heat pumps work best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is colder. As a matter of fact, that’s why installing 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 switching to something like a gas furnace.

A few makes and models tout greater efficiency in cold weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of operating at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain efficient in temperatures as extreme as -22°F. For optimal energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in severely cold weather.

So Should I Get a Heat Pump If I Have a Gas Furnace?

If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, but it offers other perks including:

  • Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, 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 wait for repairs
  • Lower energy costs – The ability to pick which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these heating systems 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. Key parts could last longer as they’re not under nonstop use.

If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Temple/Belton, don’t hesitate to contact your local certified technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the ideal option.