The concept of installing both a furnace and heat pump may feel somewhat unusual at first. After all, why should you need two heaters? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the changes in their design actually make using both of them a reasonable option. It’s not for everybody, but under the right conditions you will absolutely benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.
You’ll want to weigh several factors in order to confirm if this sort of setup helps you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both especially important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps begin to work less efficiently in cooler weather and large homes. At the same time, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Long Island.
Heat Pumps Can Be Less Efficient in Colder Weather
Heat pumps are typically less effective in cooler weather due to how they provide climate control to start with. As opposed to furnaces, which burn fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then pulled inside and dispersed throughout your home. Assuming there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the lower the temperature, the less effective 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 can 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 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 Run Best In?
Heat pumps function best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That said, you don’t have to lose out on the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cooler. As a matter of fact, that’s why owning both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the cost. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is chilly enough to justify swapping to something like a gas furnace.
Certain makes and models tout greater performance in cold 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 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 Install a Heat Pump If I Use 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 deserves the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system versatile, but it provides other advantages such as:
- Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one fails, you still have the capability to heat your home. It won't always be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than having an unheated home while you wait for repairs
- Fewer energy costs – The ability to choose which heating system you use according to 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 divided between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial hardware can survive longer given that they’re not under constant use.
If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Long Island, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local professional technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you determine if a dual-heating HVAC system is the ideal option.