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What Is a Dual Fuel System?

There are plenty of different types of heating and cooling systems for your home, each with their own pros and cons. However, when it comes to choosing the one that’s right, most people look at one particular thing: energy efficiency. Electric heat pumps are easily one of the most efficient types of heating systems, however they’re somewhat limited in their effectiveness in cold weather. Gas- burning furnaces are less efficient, but are more reliable and don’t struggle nearly as much when the temperatures really drop during winter.

This leads to a difficult decision for many homeowners—do they go with consistent performance in exchange for reduced efficiency, or save more money and risk a performance drop in the coldest points of winter? Well, what if you didn’t have to make that decision, and could instead enjoy the strengths and benefits of both? Thanks to dual fuel systems, you can!

What Is a Dual Fuel System?

A dual fuel heating and cooling system combines the power of both a gas furnace and an electric heat pump to provide you with optimal performance and fuel efficiency all year long. During the somewhat days of fall, spring, and early winter, your system will depend on an efficient heat pump for light heating purposes. This enables you to save energy while still keeping your home warm.

When the weather really turns cold, however, your heat pump will no longer be the most effective or efficient way of saving energy. When there’s less heat in the air outside to absorb, a heat pump simply can’t capture enough heat to effectively keep your home warm, and the colder it gets, the more difficult it becomes. So to compensate, a dual fuel system switches over to a gas furnace when the weather gets cold enough. Unlike a heat pump, gas does not have a prerequisite temperature limit outside—it simply burns to produce heat, which is then sent around your home.

During summer months, the system switches back over to a heat pump and reverses the flow of refrigerant. This allows your system to instead absorb heat from inside your home and expel it outside, creating the cool and dry air you need to remain comfortable throughout the hot and humid days of an Ohio summer.

How Dual Fuel Systems Save You Money

A dual fuel system is a huge money saver because it uses the most effective and efficient system to keep you comfortable in any weather. The majority of the time, they depend on an ultra-efficient heat pump system, which is far more efficient than a gas furnace. Whereas even the most efficient gas furnaces are only around 90 percent efficient, heat pumps are more effective because it takes way less energy to transfer heat than it does to produce it. As a result, heat pumps can actually transfer up to 300 percent more energy in the form of heat than they consume in order to operate.

You might be surprised to learn just how much heat is present and capable of being collected and transferred, even when the weather may seem particularly cold. In fact, these systems function with reasonably good efficiency at temperatures down as low as 25 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. So it’s not all that often that your system will switch over to gas, but you’ll be thankful you have the option when you need it.

There’s another way these systems can help you save money as well. Because they’re so remarkably energy-efficient, you may be eligible for benefits including tax credits or rebates depending on where you live, what kind of system you install, and more. Plus, the amount of energy savings you’ll see over the next few years after installing one of these systems helps to offset the cost of upgrading, and even helps them pay for themselves in the long run. Talk to our Cleveland heating and cooling experts to learn more about any special discounts or incentives you may be eligible for in your area!

Learn more about dual fuel systems by calling (216) 230-5117 and speaking with one of our team members at Arco Comfort Air, LLC today!

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