Shut off your Heat Pump if you have a Gas Furnace for the Back Up Heat
Homeowners that have what has been called a hybrid heating system (a heat pump with a gas furnace back up) should operate only with the gas furnace for the winter if gas prices are low. Natural gas prices have been very low in past years, caused by an abundance of gas available and mild fall temperatures. On the other hand electric rates continue to climb. The beauty of having a hybrid heating system is the ability to choose which source of heat is more economical to use and for this winter it certainly is natural gas.
With a typical operation of a hybrid heating system, the heat pump will operate with ambient temperatures above 32 degrees. When temperatures are below 32 degrees the gas furnace would operate. To lock out the heat pump from operating, homeowners should switch their thermostats to “emergency heat” mode. Don’t worry about the word “emergency” – think of it as auxiliary heat which is the gas furnace.
Note: In all electric homes where the backup heat source is an electric furnace, the heat pump should be operated since it is more efficient than an electric furnace.