The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump might sound a bit unusual at first. After all, why do you need two heating systems? While furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design really make installing both of them a viable option. It’s not for all of us, but in the right conditions you will truly benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll need to weigh several factors in order to determine if this type of setup suits you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both especially important, especially for the heat pump. This is because numerous models of heat pumps will work less effectively in colder weather and large homes. Even so, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Wausau.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Efficient in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are typically less effective in cooler weather because of how they create climate control in the first place. Compared to furnaces, which ignite 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 dispersed around your home. Assuming there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the lower the temperature, the less reliable 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 drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They should still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after which a gas furnace will be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?
Heat pumps function best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is colder. As a matter of fact, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the expense. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to call for shifting to something like a gas furnace.
Some makes and models tout greater performance in winter 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 extreme as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to use the furnace in severely cold weather.
So Should I Install a Heat Pump if I Use a Gas Furnace?
If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system possible, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it offers other advantages like:
- Dependable 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 shivering in an unheated home while you hold out for repairs.
- Lower energy costs – The ability to decide 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 lots of savings.
- Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating resources are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial components may survive longer given that they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Wausau, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local professional technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the better option.