Even when winter weather is relatively mild in this part of the country, it still pays to have a reliable heating system to keep your home warm and cozy. But if it is time to have it replaced with a new one, you need to consult a trusted heating and AC maintenance contractor who can help narrow down the options.
As you browse through different heat pump systems for your home, you’ll likely encounter a unit that features a dual-fuel or hybrid system. It’s the perfect choice for many homeowners, as it can solve several issues regarding their home’s heating system. And depending on the situation, it can often be more reliable than standard systems as well. If you’re unsure whether it’s the right choice, it helps to know what it can do and how it may benefit your home.
What Is a Dual-Fuel Heating System?
A dual-fuel heating system is essentially a combined HVAC system consisting of an electrically-powered heat pump that operates in conjunction with a backup propane or gas furnace. Since both run from different energy sources, they also generate heat differently for your home. This ensures you get consistent heating throughout the season.
The heat pump part of a dual-fuel system works the same way as a normal unit by removing heat from the outdoor air and transferring it indoors. Although it’s the unit’s main cooling and heating source, there will be some days when the furnace takes over. This can happen when the outdoor temperatures get too low and the main heat pump may not draw enough thermal energy to provide enough indoor heat. If you only have a conventional heat pump installed, it wouldn’t efficiently keep your home warm, especially in subfreezing temperatures.
Once the backup furnace takes over, it generates heat much differently from the main heat pump. It uses fossil fuels such as natural or propane gas to generate heat. It will usually kick in automatically and shut off once temperatures are high enough for the heat pump to operate again. And like any other HVAC system, their inspections and repairs must be done by trusted heating and AC maintenance technicians so that they stay effective and reliable.
Are They Worth the Investment?
Choosing to invest in just a heat pump can still be a good choice, as newer models can operate efficiently in colder climates as technology improves. This may also be a good option if your home doesn’t have the option for a natural gas furnace. But you’ll always have some days when a conventional heat pump won’t overcome the cold weather, but your comfort won’t get compromised when you invest in a dual-fuel heating system.
Installing a dual-fuel system offers much more advantages than a heat pump or furnace in your home. Compared to most other systems, dual-fuel systems can be more reliable even in subfreezing weather as you get a backup source of heat to stay warm and cozy. They’re much more efficient in providing heat by alternating between electric and gas based on outdoor temperatures for maximum efficiency.
Factors to Consider
If you’re considering a dual-fuel system for your home, you should take your time to research what’s best for your home. It may require a higher upfront cost, but it will save you more money later on whenever you use it. The contractor you hire to replace your heating system is also crucial because their workmanship can impact its overall performance. You should look for a heating and AC repair and replacement contractor with the training, experience, and equipment to ensure a successful installation.
Although dual-fuel heating systems are generally efficient compared to standard heating systems, some models are still better than others. It helps to check each unit’s efficiency rating and projected energy savings. But even if you buy a top-of-the-line system for your home, this won’t be enough to stay effective throughout its life span.
The system’s reliability will also depend on how often you use it and how it usually gets maintenance checks. If you live in a relatively cold climate and you use the system almost every day, you can be sure that it can last around eight to 12 years. This can be possible with routine maintenance by a professional AC repair technician. But the unit can often exceed 15 years if it’s only being used during the winter months.
What You’ll Benefit From a Dual Fuel Heating System
Exceptional energy efficiency. A dual-fuel heating system’s biggest advantage is its energy efficiency. It won’t just save you more money in the long run but also helps the environment. This means you won’t have to worry about high utility bills whenever you use your unit during winter.
Dual functionality. A dual-fuel system can also be used during summer to cool down your home, often as quickly as a standard AC replacement unit. The heat pump is capable of removing the hot air from your home over a series of coils and combines with refrigerant to reduce indoor temperatures.
Dual-Fuel System Maintenance Requirements
A dual-fuel heating system relies heavily on routine care and maintenance to stay effective and efficient. Besides the annual professional inspection and maintenance check, you won’t need to do much to keep it in good condition. For instance, the air filter must be cleaned and/or replaced at least once every 90 days. This is to ensure the indoor air quality stays clean and safe to breathe while the unit is in use.
Some units can have condensate pans that must be drained occasionally. This is because it can collect more moisture from the condensation formed while it’s running. The accumulated water can slowly damage your unit if you forget to drain it regularly.
Let’s Discuss Your HVAC Needs!
Cool Zone Air Conditioning & Heating is a family-owned and -operated HVAC contractor providing heating repair and AC replacement services to homeowners and businesses in and around Peoria, AZ. Count on our team of certified technicians to ensure your new heating system meets your daily comfort needs. Schedule an appointment by calling (623) 253-1018 or filling out our convenient online contact form!