Benefits of Dual Fuel Systems
Both electric and gas fueled heating systems have their individual disadvantages. However, a dual system combines the best of both systems. This gives you a top-performing two-in-one heating and cooling system. You are spared from the shortfalls of either system because where the electric pump begins to drop in performance, the gas furnace takes over. You will be spared the fluctuations or inadequacies otherwise predictable if only one system is in use. Your home will be sufficiently warmed and cooled as desired.
How it works
When the temperature is above 35 degrees or so, the dual-fuel heat pump uses electricity to heat your home as necessary. This type of heat circulates evenly throughout your home, and isn’t too dry. When it gets really cold outside (around 35 degrees or lower), the heat pump automatically switches to supplemental gas heat for better efficiency. Because there are advantages and disadvantages to both a heat pump and gas furnace based on the outdoor temperature, the dual-fuel solution really does give you the best of both worlds. It’s the most comfortable heating system at any outdoor temperature, as well as one of the most efficient, versatile, and economical heating-and-cooling systems you can buy.
Why Dual Fuel?
During mild winter temperatures, the heat pump operates with incredible efficiency. During the coldest times, the fossil fuel furnace burns at its greatest efficiency. By using these two sources of heat at their greatest efficiency, you can actually heat your home for less than if you use only one source of heat.
Let us help you understand what a heat pump is.
Many people still have difficulty understanding just how a heat pump works and how an air conditioner can provide heat and keep you warm.
• Definition of a heat pump for inquiring minds: In the heating mode, a heat pump is a reverse air conditioner. In the summer, a heat pump or an air conditioner, extracts heat from within your house and discharges it outside, leaving the air inside the building cooler. In the winter, by reversing the flow of refrigerant and its utilization, it extracts heat from outside of the house and brings it inside where it is sent into the house or building through the ductwork.
• How does it do that? All air has heat in it. When you take 72 degree (F) air and remove 10 degrees of heat from it, you now have 62 degree air. That’s what a heat pump does. Through reverse refrigeration, a heat pump can extract heat from the outside air by extracting (absorbing) it into the refrigerant via the compressor, a process of heat exchange, and it can do this more efficiently and cleaner than any other type of system, except when the outside temperature gets down around 32 degrees.
• What is the advantage of a Dual Fuel System? No other system operates more efficiently and cost effectively for heating than a heat pump within a certain temperature range. When combining the efficiency of a heat pump during its peak operating period with a high efficiency gas furnace, oil furnace or boiler for the times when it is less efficient, a Dual Fuel System provides the maximum efficiency, payback and comfort level of both fuels and systems available.
• Who should install a dual fuel system? Customers who already have furnaces in their homes and whose central air conditioners need replacing. When their air conditioner goes bad, some consumers are upgrading with a heat pump to work in conjunction with their existing furnace. This gives them the advantage of a new air conditioner for better cooling comfort and a heat pump (the same piece of equipment outside), which can be used most efficiently for heating on those days when the temperature is above 32 degrees.
• The largest group is homeowners interested in dual fuel systems are those that have watched oil prices rocket to record highs these past months, and which are predicted to rise even higher this winter…people who have read various consumer reports like the Energy Department report not long ago, that stated “Winter heating bills will be a 33% to 50% higher for most families across the country, with the sharpest increases expected for those who heat with natural gas”, the Energy Department forecast recently.
• How do I benefit? If you have an oil or gas system, you can benefit by adding an electric system (heat pump). If you presently have an electric system (heat pump) you can still benefit by adding oil or natural gas. Dual Fuel heating enables you to add a second heating system to your current system and gives you an appealing alternative to the roller coaster pricing of fuel oil and most gas heating systems because Dual Fuel rates are most likely to remain stable year round.
Reduced Heating Costs
Significant savings can be achieved by installing a Heat Pump system. A small amount of primary energy is used to create over three to four times the same amount of Heat Energy to be used within the property. For existing users of Gas, savings of up-to 17.5%, LPG users 59% and for Oil users a massive 61% can potentially be achieved.