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

July 19, 2022

The thought of installing both a furnace and heat pump can sound a bit odd at first. After all, why should you need two heaters? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both produce energy-efficient heat, the variations in their design actually make employing both of them a viable option. It’s not for all of us, but under the right conditions you will definitely benefit from using a furnace and a heat pump.

You'll need to weigh several factors in order to determine if this sort of setup suits you. Your local climate and the size of your home are both very important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because many models of heat pumps will function less efficiently in colder weather and bigger homes. That being said, you can still take advantage of heat pump installation in Laguna Niguel.

Heat Pumps Might Be Less Efficient in Colder Weather

Heat pumps are generally less efficient in colder weather as a result of how they create climate control in the first place. As opposed to furnaces, which combust fuel to create heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to pull heat from outdoor air. This heat is then brought inside and dispersed throughout your home. Assuming there is still a little heat energy in the air, a heat pump can function. But the cooler the temperature, the less efficient this process is.

The less heat energy is available outside, the more effort is required for a heat pump to pull heat indoors to reach your ideal 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 colder. They can still be an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, at which point a gas furnace is more effective.

What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?

Heat pumps function best in moderate climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is colder. In fact, that’s why installing both a furnace and heat pump may be worth the cost. You can keep the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cold enough to call for shifting to something like a gas furnace.

A few makes and models boast greater efficiency in cold weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of running at 100% capacity at 0°F. It can even remain functional in temperatures as cold as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to switch to the furnace in particularly cold weather.

So Should I Get a Heat Pump If I Own a Gas Furnace?

If you’re thinking about maintaining the most energy-efficient HVAC system possible, installing a heat pump and gas furnace at the same time warrants the investment. Not only is a dual-heating system flexible, but it provides other benefits such as:

  • Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the capability to heat your home. It might not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than having an unheated home while you sit around for repairs
  • Reduced energy costs – The ability to pick which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency reduces your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these heating systems can really add up to plenty of savings
  • Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating resources are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Essential parts may live longer since they’re not under nonstop use.

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