The thought of installing both a furnace and heat pump can feel somewhat strange at first. After all, why should you need two heating systems? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design really make using both of them a viable option. It’s not for all of us, but in the right conditions you can truly benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to take a look at several factors in order to determine if this type of setup suits 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 will function less effectively in colder weather and bigger homes. That being said, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Tucson.
Heat Pumps Might Be Less Reliable in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are commonly less effective in colder weather as a result of how they provide climate control in the first place. Unlike furnaces, which ignite fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and distributed throughout your home. Provided there is still a bit of 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 available outside, the more effort is required for a heat pump to draw heat indoors to maintain your preferred temperature. It may depend on the specific make and model, but heat pumps generally 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 Run Best In?
Heat pumps work best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cooler. In fact, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the expense. You can use 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 claim greater effectiveness in cooler weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of operating at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain efficient in temperatures as low as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to use the furnace in severely cold weather.
So Should I Get a Heat Pump If I Own a Gas Furnace?
If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it provides other perks like:
- Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the capability to heat your home. It won't always 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 based on the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime of these heating systems can really add up to lots of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating resources are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Essential parts can live longer since they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Tucson, don’t hesitate to reach out to 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 ideal option.