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Residential Heating FAQ: What Is a Dual Fuel System and Do I Need One?

Are you considering a dual fuel system but not sure if that is the right type of heat pump system for your home? Call the Bolingbrook heating experts at DuAll Heating & Cooling if you would like to know more about the benefits of a dual fuel system. We can explain the advantages of dual fuel over a standard air source heat pump system, and we’ll be glad to assess your current system to let you know if an upgrade would be a cost-effective choice.

Backup Heating with an Air Source Heat Pump

If you have an existing air source heat pump, you probably have a backup heater. Many people believe that a heat pump will not heat the home during times of extreme cold weather. However, this is not the case. Air source heat pumps—at least the standard ones—simply do not work as efficiently during freezing weather. Using a backup heater is mostly about getting more efficient heat in the winter.

Backup heat is usually provided by a gas furnace, since natural gas tends to be more efficient than electricity. And with a duel fuel or hybrid system, the heat pump control center will know when to switch from the electric compressor to the gas furnace for more efficiency. Before you decide to upgrade, there are a few factors to consider.

Here’s how you can compare the costs of other heat pumps that don’t use this type of technology. First, make sure you know the condition and efficiency of your current heat pump if you have one. If your old system was not sized correctly, or if you’ve made significant improvements to increase overall home efficiency, you may want to upgrade to a more efficient heating and cooling system to take full advantage of those changes.

Make sure you also understand efficiency ratings. They are measured differently for the different types of systems. Check with your heating contractor if you aren’t sure how to read the numbers. You can also just look for the Energy Star label. These models with be about 10% more efficient than the ones that meet today’s basic energy requirements. Also be sure to compare the cost of fuel in your area, and keep a record of your bills every winter so that you can see when you were paying more in heating costs.

If you have further questions or would like to go over your options with one of DuAll’s Bolingbrook heating specialists, call us any time.

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