The concept of installing both a furnace and heat pump may seem somewhat unusual at first. After all, why would you need two heating systems? While furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design actually make employing both of them a potential option. It’s not for everyone, but with the right conditions you could definitely benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.

You’ll want to think about several factors in order to decide if this type of setup suits you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both highly important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because multiple models of heat pumps start to work less effectively in colder weather and larger homes. At the same time, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Ames.

Heat Pumps May Be Less Efficient in Cold Weather

Heat pumps are commonly less efficient in cooler weather due to how they create climate control in the first place. Compared to furnaces, which combust fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and circulated around your home. Assuming there is still a bit of 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 usable outside, the more effort is required for a heat pump to bring heat indoors to reach your desired temperature. It may depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps can start to drop in efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. They should still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which a gas furnace will be more effective.

What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Run Best In?

Heat pumps function best in milder climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cold. As a matter of fact, that’s why having both a furnace and heat pump can be worth the cost. You can use the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to justify switching to something like a gas furnace.

Some makes and models claim greater efficiency in winter weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of working at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain efficient in temperatures as cold as -22°F. For maximum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in severely cold weather.

So Should I Get a Heat Pump if I Have a Gas Furnace?

If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system achievable, owning a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time is worth the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system adaptable, but it offers other perks including:

  • Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the means to heat your home. It might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than shivering in an unheated home while you hold out for repairs.
  • Reduced energy costs – The ability to pick which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the lifetime of these systems can really add up to plenty of savings.
  • Less strain on both systems – Compared to running one system all winter long, heating duties are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Essential components may last longer as they’re not under constant use.

If you’re still uncertain about heat pump installation in Ames, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local certified technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.