At that point, the furnace automatically starts up and takes over
My home was already equipped with a forced air furnace when I moved in. Living where I do, a heating system is essential. I run the furnace for more than half the year. Air conditioning is definitely optional. However short our summer season, we do get temperatures in the nineties and the humidity is horrible. I held off for several years before I decided to invest in a whole-home cooling system. Since the ductwork was already in place, I didn’t expect the cost to be prohibitive. I started by calling a local HVAC contractor for an estimate. After looking over my home and making all sorts of calculations, he recommended that I spend a lot more money on an electric heat pump. I was convinced that he was just hoping for a larger profit. I took the time to research the combination of a heat pump with a gas furnace and learned that there’s a whole bunch of benefits. It’s called a dual fuel system and it helps to cut the costs of both heating and cooling. While an electric heat pump is more expensive than an air conditioner, it’s also a lot more energy efficient. The operation is very similar to a conventional air conditioner in that it uses refrigerant to move heat from one location to another. The heat pump is better at dehumidification and offers the added bonus of reversing to provide heating. It finds ambient heat in the outdoor air and pumps indoors. It doesn’t burn fossil fuels or create any combustion by products, making it exceptionally safe, clean and environmentally friendly. The heat pump handles demand until the temperature drops below freezing. At that point, the furnace automatically starts up and takes over. Because the furnace is carrying a much lighter workload, it should last quite a bit longer.