The thought of installing both a furnace and heat pump might seem a bit unusual at first. After all, why should you need two heaters? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design really make installing both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for all of us, but with the right conditions you can absolutely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll need to weigh several factors in order to confirm if this type of setup helps you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both very important, namely for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps will run less efficiently in winter weather and large homes. Even so, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Rapid City.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Reliable in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are generally less efficient in cold weather because of how they generate climate control to start with. Compared to furnaces, which ignite fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and distributed throughout your home. Assuming there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the cooler the temperature, the less reliable 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 desired temperature. It can depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps can start to lose out on efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which point a gas furnace is more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?
Heat pumps manage best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cold. As a matter of fact, that’s why installing 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 cool enough to justify switching to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models feature greater effectiveness in winter weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of operating at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain functional in temperatures as low 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, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, but it offers other benefits such as:
- Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the capability to heat your home. It might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than living in an unheated home while you sit around for repairs.
- Reduced energy costs – The ability to pick which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these heaters can really add up to a lot of savings.
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating duties are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Key parts may live longer given that they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Rapid City, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local expert technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the ideal option.