The thought of running both a furnace and heat pump may seem a little odd at first. After all, why would you need two heaters? Although furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design actually make using both of them a potential option. It’s not for everybody, but under the right conditions you could truly benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You should take a look at several factors in order to determine if this kind of setup helps you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both very important, namely for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps will work less efficiently in cooler weather and large homes. That being said, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Rapid City.
Heat Pumps Might Be Less Effective in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are generally less efficient in cold weather due to how they generate climate control in the first place. Unlike furnaces, which ignite fuel to create 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. Assuming there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump should function. But the cooler the temperature, the less reliable this process is.
The less heat energy is available outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to bring heat indoors to reach your preferred temperature. It may depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps can start to lose 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 will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?
Heat pumps manage best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to lose out on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is colder. In fact, that’s why installing both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the costs. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to warrant swapping to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models claim greater efficiency in cold weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of running at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain efficient in temperatures as low as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in severely cold weather.
So Should I Get a Heat Pump If I Use a Gas Furnace?
If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system available, 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 like:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the ability to heat your home. It won't always be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than having an unheated home while you wait for repairs
- Lower energy costs – The ability to choose which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life span of these systems can really add up to plenty of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating duties are split between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial parts could live longer since they’re not under continuous use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Rapid City, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local professional technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.