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When a Dual Fuel System Is a Good Choice for Heating

heating-cooling-zones-homesHeat pump systems are making their way into more homes each year, and for some excellent reasons. Heat pumps offer both heating and cooling functions in a single unit and are much more energy efficient at heating than standard electric furnaces, making them perfect for homes that don’t have a natural gas connection. The warmth heat pumps deliver in winter is less stuffy than the warmth from furnaces, providing ideal comfort throughout a home.

But heat pumps do have some limitations. Because they must absorb heat from the outside during the winter, they can struggle if the temperature falls to extremely low levels. There’s always some heat in the air, no matter how cold. But when the outdoor temperature drops too far below freezing, it forces heat pumps to work much harder to extract the available heat. Suddenly, the energy efficient performance of heat pumps is much less than it was.

A Dual Fuel System Gets Around This Trouble

There’s a solution to the dilemma of a heat pump that can’t heat when the temperature turns frigid. It’s a dual fuel heat pump, also called a hybrid heat pump. This system combines a heat pump with a small backup furnace, which can run from propane. When the heat pump registers that it is losing efficiency because of the cold, it activates the furnace to help it. The furnace only remains on as long as the heat pump needs assistance. A dual fuel system costs a bit more to run than a standard heat pump, but not ­much more. Compared to using an electric furnace, the savings are still substantial.

Is Dual Fuel a Good Option for Your Home?

Because construction of heat pumps and their technology improves each year, new models are better than ever at functioning in deep cold temperatures. Whether your home can handle winter weather with a standard heat pump or it needs a dual fuel model depends on a number of factors. These factors include humidity levels and how much insulation your home has. If you have a natural gas line, but you’re considering having a heat pump installed instead of a furnace, then you may want to consider a dual fuel system where the back-up furnace uses gas instead of another type of heating oil. That way you have a “best of both worlds” situation.

You should let an HVAC professional guide your choice. A heat load calculation to determine the amount of heating power the house needs will help the professional give you some solid answers about the best home comfort system.

For all your Linden, NJ heating and cooling needs, you can trust to our team. We work with standard heat pumps, dual fuel heat pumps, and ductless mini split heat pumps. Our knowledgeable experts will see that you end up with the home heating (and cooling) system that does the job you want. All our technicians are NATE-certified so you receive the best possible service every time.

Air Creations, Inc. serves Central and Northern New Jersey. Since 1987, “We Do It Right!”

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