Dual Fuel: A Singularly Efficient System

Are you looking for an efficient way to heat and cool your greater Fort Collins home? A dual fuel system may be just the solution. Here’s how the system works, and how you can benefit from this efficient two-in-one system.

Dual fuel systems take advantage of hybrid technology, which is particularly useful during the heating season. Just as hybrid vehicles run on two types of fuel, these home-comfort systems rely on two types of energy. Manufacturers commonly pair an air-source heat pump with a gas-powered furnace. As a result, you have access to a heating system (the gas furnace) that operates efficiently when the temperature is very cold and a heating system (the air-source heat pump) that operates efficiently when the temperature is mild, or above freezing. (The heat pump also serves as a cooling system in the summer.)

Here’s how it works:

Most heat pumps have a balance point setting that hovers around freezing. Temperatures in the above-freezing range mean the heat pump can source sufficient warmth in the air. The system then moves that warmth into the home. Most heat pumps become less efficient when the weather turns very cold, as it does in Colorado.

That’s why manufacturers came up with dual fuel technology, pairing the efficient heat pump with a backup furnace. Once the system senses that the temperature has dropped very low, the furnace, which is more efficient at this point, cycles on.

Before upgrading to a dual fuel system, run the numbers with your HVAC contractor. If you buy both systems at the same time, the cost will be high. But you may be able to use your present furnace — if you haven’t had it very long, and it’s high efficiency — with a new heat pump. This will yield a dual fuel system. Remember, too, you can use the heat pump for cooling when it’s hot outside.

For more information about dual-fuel technology, contact Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning. We serve homeowners in greater Fort Collins.


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