A dual fuel system is one that uses two different fuel sources interchangeably. Its primary mode of operation is a heat pump, meaning it cools you down in the summer and keeps you warm in the winter (all while using electricity). Its secondary mode of operation is that of a gas furnace, for those times of the summer where you want a little something extra.
That brief summary is probably not enough to really explain why anyone would want a hybrid gas and electric HVAC system. After all, why not just stick to one? Well, you might even decide one isn’t enough if you…
Don’t Feel That Heat Pumps Are Efficient Enough
Unless you’re operating a high-end brand of heat pump, there’s one unfortunate fact you have to deal with when using them:
Their ability to transfer heat will drop as temperatures dip below 30°F.
In response, the heat pump will kick on its auxiliary heating mode. By using electrical resistance, the heat pump is able to contribute a little bit more heat to keep you comfortable. Unfortunately, this does come at the cost of using electricity in a less efficient manner. That can mean a pricier energy bill during the worst of winter.
A dual fuel system is designed to overcome this. Instead of resorting to auxiliary heating, the gas furnace part of the dual fuel system will activate, thus helping better manage your heating bill.
Want to Spend Less on Gas Furnaces Than You Are Now
Gas furnaces are wonderful for heating your home in even the coldest temperatures. But the fact is, the winter air doesn’t always get that cold. Whenever the air is above the 30°F mark, your heat pump would actually be the most cost-effective choice. This is because a heat pump is more efficient than a gas furnace when operating at its full potential.
So if you’ve only been running a gas furnace all these years, there are many potential savings to be had by switching up your habits. Alleviating the burden from your gas furnace and onto the heat pump can be highly effective for lowering operational costs.
You’re Also Looking to Replace or Install an Air Conditioner
And finally, the last reason people switch to dual fuel systems is because—in addition to the above two reasons—they see it as a great opportunity to install a new air conditioner. After all, dual fuel systems are heat pumps, so that means you’ll be getting both cooling and heating functions.
If you already have a furnace and possibly a central AC, it can be difficult to justify switching to a heat pump. But if you’re looking to lower gas furnace expenses while also replacing an inefficient AC system, a new dual fuel heat pump is perhaps the wisest decision.
The tried and true method of determining if you really need a certain system is simply by asking a local McKinney, TX HVAC company. They’ll be able to assess your home, your systems, and help you weigh out all the potential costs and savings.