Do I Need a Furnace with a Heat Pump? It Depends

July 19, 2022

The thought of running both a furnace and heat pump can sound a little odd at first. After all, why do you need two heating systems? Although furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design really make installing both of them a potential option. It’s not for everyone, but in the right conditions you will truly benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.

You should take a look at several factors in order to decide if this sort of setup suits you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both highly important, namely for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps begin to work less efficiently in winter weather and bigger homes. That being said, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Lake Worth.

Heat Pumps May Be Less Effective in Colder Weather

Heat pumps are typically less reliable in cooler weather because of how they generate climate control to begin with. Compared to furnaces, which burn fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and dispersed all through your home. As long as 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 more effort is required for a heat pump to bring heat indoors to generate your ideal temperature. It might depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps generally start to lose out on efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They can still be 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 moderate climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to lose 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 may be worth the cost. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to call for switching to something like a gas furnace.

A few makes and models tout greater efficiency in cooler weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of running at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain functional in temperatures as extreme as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to use the furnace in especially 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 available, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, but it offers other advantages like:

  • Reliable 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 sit around for repairs
  • Reduced energy costs – The ability to choose which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency lowers 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 – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating resources are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Key parts can live longer given that they’re not under constant use.

If you’re still uncertain about heat pump installation in Lake Worth, don’t hesitate to contact your local certified technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.