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

July 19, 2022

The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump might sound somewhat strange at first. After all, why do you need two sources of heat? While furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design really make installing both of them a potential option. It’s not for everyone, but with the right conditions you can truly benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.

You should consider several factors in order to confirm if this type of setup works for you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both very important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps start to work less effectively in colder weather and large homes. At the same time, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Grand Prairie.

Heat Pumps Can Be Less Efficient in Cold Weather

Heat pumps are generally less efficient in cooler weather as a result of how they provide climate control to begin with. Compared to furnaces, which combust fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and distributed around your home. As long as there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the lower 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 reach your preferred temperature. It can depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps generally start to lose out on efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They can still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after 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. That being said, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cooler. As a matter of fact, that’s why having both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the costs. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to call for swapping to something like a gas furnace.

A few makes and models boast greater efficiency in winter 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 cold as -22°F. For optimal energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in especially cold weather.

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

If you’re serious about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, having a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it provides other benefits including:

  • 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 wait for repairs
  • Reduced energy costs – The ability to select 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 plenty 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 parts could survive longer as they’re not under nonstop use.

If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Grand Prairie, 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 better option.