Precise Home Heating with Dual Fuel Technology

 Dual Fuel Home Heating

Dual fuel technology combines the heating performance that you get from a heat pump with the consistent heating capacity of a gas furnace. When properly installed and configured, a dual fuel technology indoor comfort system offers the incredible combination of year-round comfort and energy-efficient performance!

What makes this system so precise and energy efficient for heating is that it seamlessly alternates between the two energy sources for heating comfort, depending on the demand for heat.

How Dual Fuel Heating Works

A home with dual fuel heating has an outdoor heat pump and an indoor gas furnace. If the heating demand exceeds the preset heating capacity of your electric heat pump, the heat pump pauses, and your gas furnace takes over until the indoor temperature reaches the desired temperature on your thermostat or control system.1

The system's switch point from the heat pump to the gas furnace can be set on the thermostat or HVAC control system by you or a licensed professional HVAC dealer. So whether you need to heat your home on a cool fall evening or an icy winter day, a dual fuel system is designed to provide energy-efficient, reliable, and consistent heat.

Energy Cost and Efficiency

Different energy sources operate most efficiently during specific weather conditions. A heat pump using electricity and a gas furnace using natural gas may maximize efficiency and possibly lower your heating bills. Yet, heat source efficiency is only part of the equation. The cost of electricity and natural gas in your location can have a significant impact on your heating bill. 

“Prices of basic energy (natural gas, electricity, heating oil) are generally more volatile than prices of other commodities,” says the Energy Information Association.2 Energy prices typically vary by location because of the proximity to power plants, local distribution costs, and pricing regulations. 

When a dual fuel system's switch point is set, the specific energy source pricing should be considered into the cost and efficiency equation.  If the switch point from the heat pump to the gas furnace reduces the time required to get to your set temperature, your energy cost of operation may decrease.3 

The flexibility of using a heat pump and a gas furnace may provide the homeowner with energy cost savings. However, it is important to learn the utility pricing options from your local utility provider(s) and then discuss the potential savings a dual fuel system might offer with your licensed professional HVAC dealer.

Dual Fuel Installation Options

If you are looking to replace your air conditioner with a heat pump, your professional licensed HVAC dealer may be able to upgrade your system configuration so that your new heat pump works in conjunction with your existing furnace system. If you are not currently utilizing natural gas as a heating source but it is an option is your area, homeowners interested in dual fuel systems may be able to add a high-efficiency gas furnace. The gas furnace would be the secondary heat source instead of using the heat pump's electric heat strip when the temperatures drop.  

To find out whether a dual fuel system is an option for your home and how you may benefit, talk to your professional licensed HVAC dealer.

1 U.S. Department of Energy. Air-Source Heat Pumps. n.d. https://energy.gov/energysaver/air-source-heat-pumps. 26 April 2017. 
2 U.S. Energy Information Administration. "Why Do Natural Gas Prices Fluctuate So Much?" n.d. U.S. Energy Information Administration. https://www.eia.gov/pub/oil_gas/natural_gas/analysis_publications/why_do_prices_fluctuate/html/ngbro.html. 28 April 2017.
3 U.S. Energy Information Association. Factors Affecting Electricity Prices. n.d. https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=electricity_factors_affecting_prices. 26 April 2017. 

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