If you'd like to take a bite out of your winter utility bills, consider a dual-fuel heating system. These combine all the energy efficiency of a heat pump with the versatility of a combustion furnace to heat your home. An air-source heat pump may have a heating efficiency as high as 300 percent, while the most efficient combustion furnaces on the market can't produce more than 98 percent efficiency. The advantage of the furnace, however, is that it will provide reliable heating even during the coldest weather.
Most air-source heat pumps work well until temperatures fall into the low 30s. A heat pump doesn't create heat; rather, it transfers it between inside and outside. In the winter, the heat pump extracts heat energy from the outside air and brings it inside, while in the summer, the cycle reverses and the appliance removes heat from your home, disposing it outdoors. When temperatures fall below freezing outside, most heat pumps struggle to extract enough outside heat to warm your home. In most cases, when the heat pump begins struggling, an electric resistance heater will take over, which can be costly. This is where a dual-fuel system offers an advantage.
In a dual-fuel heating system, the gas furnace kicks on when the heat pump can't deliver the amount of heat your home needs. When the equipment is installed, the technician will set the thermostat at the temperature at which the gas (or propane or fuel oil) furnace should take over heating, based on the heating efficiency of the heat pump. With a dual-fuel heating system, your efficient heat pump will heat your home most of the year, but when it comes up short, the furnace will do the trick. This is ideal in our Ohio climate, where you will need an affordable reinforcement for your heat pump during the cold of winter.
If you have a recent model combustion furnace, it may be compatible with a heat pump. Our HVAC professionals at Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating can help you learn if a dual-fuel heating system would be right for your home, along with helping you estimate how much you can save. Please contact us to learn more. We've provided HVAC services for the Mid-Ohio area since 1965.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Mid-Ohio area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about dual-fuel heating and other HVAC topics, visit our website.