The idea of using both a furnace and heat pump might feel somewhat unusual at first. After all, why should you need two heaters? While furnaces and heat pumps both offer energy-efficient heat, the differences in their design genuinely make employing both of them a viable option. It’s not for everybody, but in 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 decide if this kind of setup suits you. Your local climate and the dimensions of your home are both very important, particularly for the heat pump. This is because some models of heat pumps will work less efficiently in winter weather and bigger homes. Even so, you can still reap the benefits of heat pump installation in Santa Clarita.

Heat Pumps Can Be Less Reliable in Colder Weather

Heat pumps are generally less reliable in colder weather due to how they create climate control in the first place. Compared to furnaces, which ignite fuel to provide heat, a heat pump reverses its stream of refrigerant to draw heat from outdoor air. This heat is then drawn inside and distributed throughout your home. Assuming there is still a bit of heat energy in the air, a heat pump should function. But the cooler the temperature, the less efficient this process is.

The less heat energy is available outside, the more time is needed for a heat pump to bring heat indoors to generate your desired temperature. It can depend on the exact make and model, but heat pumps generally start to lose efficiency at temperatures of 40 degrees and under. They still remain an energy-efficient option until 20-25 degrees, after 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. That said, you don’t have to give up on the benefits of a heat pump just because your local climate is cold. After all, that’s why using both a furnace and heat pump might be worth the costs. You can favor the heat pump for energy-efficient heat until the weather is cool enough to call for shifting to something like a gas furnace.

Some makes and models feature greater performance in cooler weather. For example, the Lennox MLA heat pump is capable of running 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 Get a Heat Pump if I Use a Gas Furnace?

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

  • A source of backup heating – A redundant heating system means even if one stops working, you still have the ability to heat your home. It may not be the most energy efficient, but it’s better than shivering in an unheated home while you sit around for repairs.
  • Lower energy costs – The ability to pick which heating system you use according to the highest energy efficiency decreases your total costs. Smaller heating bills over the life of these systems can really add up to plenty of savings.
  • Less strain on both systems – Instead of running one system all winter long, heating duties are split between the furnace and heat pump. Crucial hardware could last longer given that they’re not under constant use.

If you’re still hesitant about heat pump installation in Santa Clarita, don’t hesitate to contact your local expert technicians. They can evaluate your home’s comfort needs and help you figure out if a dual-heating HVAC system is the right option.