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


The concept of using both a furnace and a heat pump might sound somewhat odd at first. After all, why would you need two heating systems? While furnaces and heat pump both deliver energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design make installing both of them a viable option. It’s not for all of us, but under the right conditions, you could truly benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.

You’ll want to take a look at several factors to decide if this kind of setup helps you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both especially important, especially for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps begin to work less effectively in cooler weather and larger homes. At the same time, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Huffman.

Heat Pumps May Be Less Effective in Colder Weather

Heat pumps are typically less efficient in cooler weather due to how they provide climate control in the first place. As opposed to furnaces, which ignite fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to pull heat from the outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and circulated throughout your home. As long as there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump should function. But the lower the temperature, the less efficient this process is.

The less heat energy is usable outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to pull heat indoors to generate your desired temperature. It might depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps may start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They can still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which a gas furnace is more effective.

What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?

Heat pumps function best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to sacrifice the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cooler. That’s why using both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the costs. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to warrant shifting to something like a gas furnace.

Certain makes and models tout 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 remain efficient in temperatures as extreme as -22°F. For optimal energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in especially cold weather.

So, Should I Put in a Heat Pump If I Own a Gas Furnace?

If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it provides other advantages such as:

  • Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still can heat your home. It might not be the most energy-efficient, but it’s better than living in an unheated home while you hold out for repairs
  • Reduced energy costs – The ability to pick which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these systems can add up to plenty of savings
  • Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Essential parts could last longer as they’re not under nonstop use.

If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Huffman, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local professional technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the better option.

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