The idea of running both a furnace and heat pump may seem a bit unusual at first. After all, why do you need two heaters? Although furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design actually make using both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for everyone, but with the right conditions you will absolutely benefit from having a furnace and a heat pump.
You should take a look at several factors in order to confirm if this sort of setup suits you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both highly important, especially for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps will run less effectively in colder weather and bigger homes. Even so, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Portland.
Heat Pumps May Be Less Effective in Cold Weather
Heat pumps are typically less effective in colder weather due to how they create climate control in the first place. Compared to furnaces, which burn fuel to generate heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and distributed around your home. Provided there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the colder the temperature, the less efficient this process is.
The less heat energy is usable outside, the more effort is required for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to reach 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 can still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which a gas furnace should be more effective.
What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?
Heat pumps manage best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cold. As a matter of fact, that’s why having both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the costs. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to call for swapping to something like a gas furnace.
A few makes and models boast greater performance 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 cold as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to use the furnace in especially 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, owning 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 advantages including:
- A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the means to heat your home. It might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than having an unheated home while you hold out for repairs
- Lower 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 life of these heating systems can really add up to a lot of savings
- Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are split between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial components will sometimes live longer given that they’re not under nonstop use.
If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Portland, don’t hesitate to contact your local professional technicians. They can review your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.