Dual Fuel Systems
A dual-fuel heat pump is an electric heat pump and a gas furnace all in one. When temperatures are above freezing, a heat pump is usually the least expensive way to heat your home but when the temperature drops below freezing, a heat pump needs an additional heat source to keep up. Rather than use electric resistance heat for back-up heat we use a high efficiency gas furnace. By combining the two, you can have the benefits of both systems.
How it works
When the outdoor temperature is above 30 degrees or so, the dual-fuel heat pump uses electricity to heat your home as necessary. This type of heat circulates evenly throughout your home, and isn't too dry. When it gets really cold outside (around 30 degrees or lower), the system automatically switches to gas heat.
A dual-fuel unit system cost about $1,000 more than a conventional heating and cooling system because you’re getting essentially two systems in one. But the amount you'll save in the next two to three years from lower heating costs will more than make up the difference you'll spend on a better system. Also many utility companies give up front rebates and lower electric rates to heat pump users. Most customers like the idea of having two different fuel choices.
The switch is automatic
If the outdoor temperature drops below what is called the balance point, the heat pump automatically shuts off, and your furnace takes over. The exact temperature where the switch takes place is determined by the efficiency of the equipment and the price of the fuel you have available, such as natural gas, propane, or fuel oil. If energy prices fluctuate dramatically, you can ask us to reset the balance point to a different temperature so you get the most for your money.
How much does it save?
It depends on the size of the house and your current heat source. However, most people can save at least $200 per year and many save much more. Propane users save more than natural gas users by adding a heat pump, because propane is more expensive than natural gas.
Is it reliable and comfortable?
Thanks to the use of variable speed blowers, scroll compressors, on board diagnostics, and computerized controls the Amana heat pumps and gas furnaces we have installed have proven to be very reliable.