The idea of using both a furnace and heat pump may sound a bit strange at first. After all, why would you need two sources of heat? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design genuinely make using both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for everyone, but with the right conditions you can definitely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You should think about several factors in order to determine if this kind of setup suits you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both very important, namely for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps start to work less efficiently in cooler weather and larger homes. At the same time, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Libertyville.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Reliable in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less effective in colder weather because of how they provide climate control to start with. As opposed to furnaces, which ignite fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and dispersed all through your home. Assuming there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump should function. But the lower the temperature, the less reliable this process is.
The less heat energy is accessible outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to draw heat indoors to generate your desired temperature. It can depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps generally start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. 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 manage best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cold. As a matter of fact, that’s why having 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 cool enough to warrant switching to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models boast greater effectiveness in cooler weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of working 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 swap to the furnace in particularly cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump If I Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re serious about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, having a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, but it provides other advantages such as:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the means to heat your home. It won't always be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than living in an unheated home while you hold out for repairs
- Lower energy costs – The ability to pick 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. Key components will sometimes live longer given that they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Libertyville, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local certified technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the ideal option.