Dual Fuel Heat Pumps with Gas Furnace: How Do They Work?
With a dual fuel heat pump system, you get the best of both heating & cooling worlds, hot or cold air when you need it most. This hybrid heating and cooling system combines a heat pump with a natural gas or LP (propane) furnace to provide your home with an energy efficient HVAC system that you can use all year long. A dual fuel heat pump system saves energy and help the environment by reducing your carbon footprint, and it works seamlessly by changing fuel as the outdoor temperature changes.
What is a dual fuel heating system?
A dual fuel heating and cooling system is a hybrid system made up of both an electric heat pump and a gas or LP furnace. The system alternates between using each of the two heating systems, depending on the season, outdoor temperature and the function needed, to maximize efficiency and effectively heat and cool your home all year long.
The heat pump in the system works like a central air conditioner in the summer months by transferring hot air out of your home . The heat pump also does the majority of the work in the fall and spring months by providing cost-efficient heat during milder temperatures.
The gas or LP furnace takes over and works to heat your entire home when the temperature takes a dip during the cold, winter months. Furnaces have one function, converting fuel into heat quickly and efficiently. When it’s cold outside, the furnace in your dual fuel system will do just that.
When does a dual fuel heat pump make sense?
If you live in a place where the temperature is always changing
Dual fuel heat pump systems are best suited for places that experience all four seasons and varying temperatures.
Dual fuel systems are for people who experience both ends of the temperature spectrum. A furnace only heats, so if you live through changing climates, you’ll need to invest in another HVAC system to meet your needs. While heat pumps both heat and cool, they have to work overtime at extremely low temperatures, which isn’t always the most cost or energy effective solution. Dual fuel heat pumps take the best qualities of both systems to tackle whatever climate you may wake up to.
How can a dual fuel heat pump system save you energy and money?
The ability for a dual fuel heat pump to switch between a furnace and a heat pump is what saves you energy and money. As we mentioned earlier, a furnace isn’t needed in hot temperatures (because it only produces heat) and a heat pump has to work overtime in extremely cold temperatures. Instead of letting a regular heat pump do the extra work in the winter, a dual fuel system lets the furnace do the heavy lifting. This means, the heat pump isn’t expending unnecessary energy to do a job a furnace could do quicker and more efficiently. On the flip side, a heat pump can warm your home in a more energy-efficient way than a furnace when it’s just cool outside, and a dual fuel system lets it do just that.
All this switching between functions doesn’t only save energy, but it also saves time and money. By allowing the best device to heat or cool your home at the best time, a dual fuel system gets your home to your desired temperature faster. Not to mention, less energy wasted from your HVAC systems means less money wasted on utility bills for you.