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

July 19, 2022

The idea of installing both a furnace and heat pump may feel a bit strange at first. After all, why would you need two heaters? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design genuinely make installing both of them a viable option. It’s not for everybody, but in the right conditions you can definitely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.

You’ll want to consider several factors in order to confirm if this sort of setup helps you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both highly important, especially for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps begin to work less effectively in colder weather and large homes. At the same time, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Gresham.

Heat Pumps May Be Less Reliable in Winter Weather

Heat pumps are typically less reliable in colder weather as a result of how they provide climate control to begin with. Compared to furnaces, which combust fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and circulated all through your home. Assuming there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the cooler the temperature, the less effective this process is.

The less heat energy is accessible outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to bring heat indoors to generate your preferred temperature. It might depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps may start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. 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 temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to lose out on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cold. After all, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the expense. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to call for swapping to something like a gas furnace.

Certain makes and models feature greater performance 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 maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in particularly cold weather.

So Should I Get a Heat Pump If I Own 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 versatile, but it features other perks including:

  • Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the ability to heat your home. It might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than shivering in an unheated home while you hold out for repairs
  • Lower energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these heating systems can really add up to lots of savings
  • Less strain on both systems – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating duties are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Essential hardware will sometimes survive longer given that they’re not under continuous use.

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