The thought of using both a furnace and heat pump might seem a bit strange at first. After all, why would you need two heaters? Even though furnaces and heat pumps both deliver energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design actually make employing both of them a potential option. It’s not for all of us, but with the right conditions you will absolutely benefit from owning a furnace and a heat pump.

You’ll want to take a look at several factors in order to decide if this type of setup works for you. Your local climate and the square footage of your home are both very important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps will function less effectively in colder weather and bigger homes. That being said, you can still benefit from heat pump installation in Milwaukee.

Heat Pumps May Be Less Efficient in Winter Weather

Heat pumps are generally less effective in colder weather due to how they provide climate control to start with. As opposed to furnaces, which combust fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its flow of refrigerant to extract heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and circulated throughout your home. As long as there is still a little 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 available outside, the longer it takes a heat pump to bring heat indoors to maintain your preferred temperature. It can depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps generally start to lose 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 will be more effective.

What Temperatures Do Heat Pumps Work Best In?

Heat pumps work best in temperate climates 40 degrees and up. Having said that, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is colder. As a matter of fact, that’s why having 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 warrant shifting to something like a gas furnace.

Certain makes and models boast greater effectiveness in winter 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 low as -22°F. For optimum energy efficiency, you’ll likely still want to swap to the furnace in severely cold weather.

So Should I Install a Heat Pump if I Have 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 adaptable, but it provides other benefits such as:

  • Reliable backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one breaks down, you still have the ability to heat your home. It won’t always be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than living in an unheated home while you hold out for repairs.
  • Fewer energy costs – The ability to decide which heating system you use based on the highest energy efficiency lowers your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these systems can really add up to lots of savings.
  • Less strain on both systems – Rather than running one system all winter long, heating responsibilities are divided between the furnace and heat pump. Essential hardware could last longer since they’re not under nonstop use.

If you’re still not sure about heat pump installation in Milwaukee, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local professional technicians. They can walk you through your home’s comfort needs and help you decide if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.