Dual fuel systems are heating systems that use two different energy sources for heating: electricity and natural gas (or, in a home with no access to natural gas, propane). The standard operation for a dual fuel system is a combination of an electrical heat pump with a gas furnace as a back-up. The electrical power of the heat pump provides warmth for a home in temperatures of 40°F or higher, and the gas-powered furnace takes over when the temperature drops lower.
This provides the “best of both worlds” for electrical and gas heating: a heat pump is an inexpensive way to electrically heat a home, and natural gas is the least expensive way to provide high levels of heat when necessary. Since a heat pump functions as an air conditioner during the summer, this single installation can take care of comfort for the year.
These are the basic dual fuel system facts. But there are a few more important facts to know before you call a Plattsburgh, NY HVAC contractor to have one installed.
Dual fuel isn’t always the best option
Dual fuel is not ideal for every home. This is true of any type of heating system, but there is a larger margin for error when it comes to dual fuel because it involves two types of heating plus air conditioning. This is one of the reasons to always rely on a professional for installing a new HVAC system. The experts can help you balance the factors and make accurate heat load calculations so they know the best and most economical way to deliver comfort around the year.
Lower natural gas costs
The price of natural gas has dropped during the last few years, which is something to consider when you’re thinking of replacing a gas furnace with a dual fuel system. With today’s prices, you can inexpensively keep your house warm even when temperatures drop below 40°F.
The technology of heat pumps is advancing
The lower cost of natural gas hasn’t made the heat pump obsolete. Heat pump technology has improved so the units no longer have to struggle as hard during intense cold weather. Older heat pumps would become extremely expensive to operate as the outdoor temperatures plunged below freezing. Now many heat pumps can handle winter temperatures in Vermont and New York without the assistance of back-up heat.
Dual fuel systems still have their place
You may have read the information above and thought: “If a heat pump alone can do the job, and a gas furnace on its own won’t break the bank, why bother with a combination of the two?” Rather than install a dual fuel system, you may wish to stick with a gas furnace or upgrade your current heat pump with a more efficient one.
But there’s still a reason to consider replacing a furnace or heat pump with a dual fuel system: comfort. Dual fuel avoids the stuffy feeling that gas furnaces can sometimes create, and they won’t dry out the air either. If you have trouble with a stuffy house and dry conditions, a dual fuel system is a good alternative. You’ll enjoy the benefits of gas power without having to rely on gas heat all the time.
Find out your best heating installation option! Call Red Rock Mechanical, LLC.