The thought of installing both a furnace and heat pump might feel somewhat strange at first. After all, why should you need two heating systems? While furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design really make installing both of them a worthwhile option. It’s not for all of us, but under the right conditions you will truly benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.
You should consider several factors in order to determine if this sort 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 many models of heat pumps begin to run less effectively in cooler weather and larger homes. That being said, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Oxford.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Effective in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are typically less efficient in cold weather because of how they provide climate control in the first place. Unlike furnaces, which burn fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and dispersed all through your home. As long as there is still some heat energy in the air, a heat pump should function. But the cooler the temperature, the less efficient this process is.
The less heat energy is accessible outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to maintain your ideal temperature. It can depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps may start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after which a gas furnace should be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?
Heat pumps function 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. As a matter of fact, that’s why installing 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 chilly enough to justify switching to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models tout greater effectiveness in cold weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of operating 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 switch to the furnace in especially cold weather.
So Should I Put In a Heat Pump If I Have a Gas Furnace?
If you’re serious about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, having a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, but it offers other benefits including:
- A source of 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
- Fewer energy costs – The ability to pick which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency reduces 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 responsibilities are separated between the furnace and heat pump. Essential hardware can last longer given that they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Oxford, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local certified technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the ideal option.