If you need to replace your furnace, or you’re starting to do research because you’ll probably need to replace it soon, there may be options on the market that weren’t available when you last purchased a furnace. You’ve heard of hybrid cars, but did you know that hybrid heating is possible? It’s called a dual fuel system, and it can be ideal for many homes.
How can you determine whether a dual fuel system or a gas furnace is the right choice for your home? There are several factors.
What Is a Dual Fuel System?
A heat pump is an efficient way to cool your home. It works like an air conditioner, using refrigerant to move heat from indoors to out. The part that makes it unique is that the flow of the refrigerant can be reversed, so it can also be used to heat your home.
Where a heat pump can fall short is during the coldest winter weather, when it may not be able to make enough of a temperature difference to keep your home truly warm without losing efficiency and raising your energy costs dramatically. A dual fuel system is the answer to this. By adding a gas-burning supplemental furnace, you can stay cozy all winter long.
What Are the Benefits of Dual Fuel Systems?
By using the supplemental furnace as sparingly as possible, a dual fuel system is much more efficient than using a furnace all the time. Although electric heating systems usually cost more in energy bills than gas furnaces, the electricity usage of the heat pump is very low because of its efficiency. With a dual fuel system, you get the best of both worlds.
Because the dual fuel system is also a heat pump, you will have air conditioning capability as well. Although the supplemental furnace is a separate appliance, it will come on automatically when the temperature drops too low for the heat pump to operate efficiently, and then turn off when it is no longer needed. This means that to keep your home at your ideal temperature all year round, the only thing you need to do is flip a switch to change the system from heating to cooling mode in the spring and back again in the fall.
What Are the Drawbacks of Dual Fuel Systems?
The main consideration that makes some homeowners choose a gas furnace instead is that the dual fuel system would replace not just their heater but also their air conditioner. If you have a relatively-new air conditioner in great working order, the energy savings may not be worth the investment of replacing that with a heat pump.
To make the best possible decision about how to keep your home at a steady, comfortable temperature, your home and family life need to be taken into consideration. Whether your existing furnace uses gas or propane, what the cost of electricity is from your utility company, the size and layout of your home, and the needs of the people in it can all shift the balance and make one choice the clear winner. If you’d like to discuss specifics about your Ensley, FL dual fuel HVAC options, we’d love to hear from you.
Contact the team at Commander Air Inc. Your hometown heating and cooling specialist for three generations.