The idea of installing both a furnace and heat pump might sound a little strange at first. After all, why would you need two heaters? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design really make installing both of them a potential option. It’s not for everybody, but with the right conditions you could absolutely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll need to think about several factors in order to decide if this sort of setup works for you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both very important, especially for the heat pump. This is because numerous models of heat pumps start to work less effectively in colder weather and larger homes. Even so, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Rapid City.
Heat Pumps Might Be Less Effective in Winter Weather
Heat pumps are typically less reliable in colder weather as a result of how they provide climate control in the first place. As opposed to furnaces, which burn fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and distributed throughout your home. Assuming there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the colder the temperature, the less efficient this process is.
The less heat energy is usable outside, the more effort is required for a heat pump to draw heat indoors to maintain your preferred temperature. It can depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps can start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after which a gas furnace is more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?
Heat pumps function best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, 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 owning both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the expense. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to call for shifting to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models claim greater effectiveness in cold 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 cold as -22°F. For optimal energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in particularly cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump if I Have 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 warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it offers other perks including:
- Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the capability to heat your home. It may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than shivering in an unheated home while you hold out 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 lifetime of these heaters can really 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 components could survive 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 evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.