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

July 19, 2022

The idea of installing both a furnace and heat pump might feel somewhat odd at first. After all, why should you need two sources of heat? Although furnaces and heat pumps both provide energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design genuinely make using both of them a potential option. It’s not for everybody, but under the right conditions you will definitely benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.

You should weigh several factors in order to decide if this sort of setup helps you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both highly important, namely for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps begin to work less effectively in winter weather and large homes. That being said, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Menomonie and western Wisconsin.

Heat Pumps May Be Less Effective in Cold Weather

Heat pumps are generally less reliable in cold weather because of how they provide climate control in the first place. As opposed to furnaces, which ignite fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its supply of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and dispersed throughout your home. Assuming there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump will function. But the cooler the temperature, the less efficient this process is.

The less heat energy is usable outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to pull heat indoors to maintain your preferred temperature. It might depend on the type of make and model, but heat pumps may start to lose out on efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and colder. They should still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which a gas furnace is more effective.

What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Perform Best In?

Heat pumps work best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. That being said, you don’t have to sacrifice the benefits of a heat pump just because the local climate is cooler. After all, that’s why installing both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the costs. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to justify switching to something like a gas furnace.

A few makes and models boast greater efficiency in cooler 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 optimal energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in especially cold weather.

So Should I Install a Heat Pump If I Use a Gas Furnace?

If you’re interested in maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system possible, 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 features other perks including:

  • Dependable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the capability 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 hold out for repairs
  • Lower energy costs – The ability to decide which heating system you use depending on the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life span 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 duties are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Essential parts will sometimes survive longer since they’re not under nonstop use.

If you’re still unsure about heat pump installation in Menomonie and western Wisconsin, don’t hesitate to contact your local professional technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the best option.