Homeowners are increasingly deciding to choose a dual-fuel heat pump system. These systems use a gas furnace as the backup, or emergency, heating for an air-source heat pump. A dual-fuel heat pump system offers greater efficiency, flexibility and comfort than with a standard air-source heat pump. The standard heat pump comes with an energy-sucking electric-resistance heating element as the backup/emergency heating supply. If you are trying to decide whether to purchase a dual-fuel heat pump, here are some good reasons to consider one:
- Efficiency – Individually, an electric heat pump and a gas furnace have their pros and cons, but joining them in one system provides the benefits of both. While an air-source heat pump is an efficient heating source (providing three times the heat energy as the electric power that goes into the system), it will struggle to provide comfortable heating when temperatures fall below freezing. This is why a backup heating source is standard equipment in most air-source heat pumps. It kicks on when the heat pump can no longer extract sufficient heat energy from the outside air, to bring inside.
- Comfortable – Heat pump heating is perfectly comfortable during moderate winter temperatures. However, when it gets cold outside, a dual-fuel heat pump will switch over to the gas furnace. As most of us are aware, a gas furnace can quickly take the chill off your home, and turn it cozy and warm.
- Versatile – While the switchover to emergency heating is usually automatic, in most dual-fuel systems, you can activate the emergency heating manually as well. This means if you decide that you’d prefer gas heating during even moderate temperatures, you have that option. With natural gas relatively cheap these days, that might not be a bad economic decision.
- Cost-effective – With the option of either electricity or gas, you can use the fuel source that’s the most economical, as well as comfortable.
- Environmentally friendly – With the electric heat pump likely working around 85 percent of the time and the gas around 15 percent, you’re using the most environmentally friendly and efficient fuel source most of the time.
For more expert advice, please contact us at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal. We’ve been proudly serving the communities of Northwest Arkansas since 1968.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about dual-fuel heat pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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