We are taking the following precautions due to the COVID-19 virus. All of our technicians have masks, glasses, latex gloves and shoe booties if they have to enter your home. Our technicians also have hand sanitizer and disinfectants that they use after every call.
If we are there to do maintenance and we don’t have to come inside your home to get to the equipment, we are asking homeowners to adjust the thermostat for us so we can do the system maintenance without entering the home. We will not be shaking hands and will keep our distance from customers.
Homeowners are increasingly deciding to choose a dual-fuel heat pump system. The reasoning behind dual fuel is that it’s a more energy efficient way to heat your home than by using just natural gas or just using an electric heat pump. Dual fuel systems typically cost less than “pure” heat pump or gas systems because they jump on the benefits of both while avoiding the any of the drawbacks.
Heat pumps don’t actually produce heat though – they really just move air around. When it gets cold, they take the heat energy from outside air, and then use it to warm the air inside your home. As the temperature drops, the amount of heat energy that is available also drops. This means that it takes more heat energy to warm a colder home than it does to warm a cool one. The point at which the falling available heat and the rising heat needs cross and the heat pump is no longer able to heat effectively is called the balance point.
These systems use a gas furnace as the backup, or emergency, heating for an air-source heat pump. A dual-fuel heat pump system offers greater efficiency, flexibility and comfort than with a standard air-source heat pump. The standard heat pump comes with an energy-sucking electric-resistance heating element as the backup/emergency heating supply.
If you are trying to decide whether to purchase a dual-fuel heat pump, here are some good reasons to consider one:
Efficiency – Individually, an electric heat pump and a gas furnace have their pros and cons, but joining them in one system provides the benefits of both. While an air-source heat pump is an efficient heating source (providing three times the heat energy as the electric power that goes into the system), it will struggle to provide comfortable heating when temperatures fall below freezing. This is why a backup heating source is standard equipment in most air-source heat pumps. It kicks on when the heat pump can no longer extract sufficient heat energy from the outside air, to bring inside.
Comfortable – Heat pump heating is perfectly comfortable during moderate winter temperatures. However, when it gets cold outside, a dual-fuel heat pump will switch over to the gas furnace. As most of us are aware, a gas furnace can quickly take the chill off your home, and turn it cozy and warm.
Versatile – While the switchover to emergency heating is usually automatic, in most dual-fuel systems, you can activate the emergency heating manually as well. This means if you decide that you’d prefer gas heating during even moderate temperatures, you have that option. With natural gas relatively cheap these days, that might not be a bad economic decision.
Cost-effective – With the option of either electricity or gas, you can use the fuel source that’s the most economical, as well as comfortable.
Environmentally friendly – With the electric heat pump likely working around 85 percent of the time and the gas around 15 percent, you’re using the most environmentally friendly and efficient fuel source most of the time.
Do I Need a Dual Fuel Heat Pump for my Home?
This depends on a few factors. It depends on your house and the fuel supplies you have available, and if your home has a natural gas line, then using a heat pump of any kind is usually not the best strategy. It’s better to rely on a natural gas furnace and an air conditioner for comfort around the year.
However, if you live in an all-electric house with no gas service, a dual fuel system may be best for you. A heat pump is an excellent way to provide warmth to a home as an alternative to an electric furnace because it costs less to run—and you get cooling as well. A technician can tell you if a heat pump may struggle during the coldest weather and if you should have a dual fuel heat pump instead.
For more expert advice, please contact us at Paschal Air, Plumbing, & Electric. We’ve been proudly serving the communities of Northwest Arkansas, Including Bella Vista, Bentonville, Springdale & Fayetteville, as well as SW Missouri, & the Fort Smith River Valley since 1968.
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