The concept of running both a furnace and heat pump may seem a bit unusual at first. After all, why would you need two heating systems? While furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design really make installing both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for all of us, but under the right conditions you could truly benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You'll need to weigh several factors in order to decide if this sort of setup works for you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both very important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because numerous models of heat pumps start to run less efficiently in winter weather and large homes. That being said, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Murrieta.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Efficient in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are generally less effective in colder weather due to how they provide climate control in the first place. Compared to furnaces, which burn fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and distributed throughout your home. Assuming there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump should function. But the lower the temperature, the less efficient this process is.
The less heat energy is accessible outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to draw heat indoors to maintain your desired temperature. It may depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps generally start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and below. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which point a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?
Heat pumps work best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to sacrifice the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is colder. After all, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the cost. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to call for swapping to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models feature greater efficiency in winter weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of operating at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even continue running in temperatures as low as -22°F. For optimal energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch 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, having a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it features other benefits like:
- Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the means to heat your home. It may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than shivering in an unheated home while you wait for repairs
- Reduced energy costs – The ability to select which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these 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 split between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial parts can survive longer given that they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Murrieta, don’t hesitate to contact 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.