If you are looking for a way to lower your heating bills without sacrificing comfort, you may want to consider installing a dual-fuel system. These systems combine an electric heat pump with a gas- or oil-powered furnace to provide an energy-efficient heating solution.
To understand how one of these systems works, you first need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the components that make up the system.
At the most basic level, a heat pump can be thought of as an air conditioner running in reverse — to heat your home, it extracts heat from the air outdoors and then transfers that heat to your indoor air. In relatively mild temperatures, heat pumps are one of the most efficient heating options. However, because they work by extracting heat from the air, they quickly lose efficiency as soon as temperatures drop below freezing.
Furnaces, on the other hand, burn fuel to produce heat. This allows them to provide consistent, reliable warmth regardless of the temperature outdoors. Even so, because they are less efficient than heat pumps when the outdoor temperatures are mild, they are best suited for use during freezing weather conditions.
In Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan, winter temperatures often plummet well below freezing. However, when you look at the heating season as a whole, temperatures are relatively mild for much of the season, particularly during the late fall and early spring.
A dual-fuel system can take advantage of this by using the high-efficiency heat pump for most of the heating season, switching over to the lower-efficiency furnace only when temperatures drop low enough to warrant it. By alternating between these two heat sources, dual-fuel systems can provide substantial energy savings.
If you live in Northern Indiana or Southwest Michigan and would like to learn more about how a dual-fuel system can save you money and improve the comfort of your home, contact us at Home Comfort Experts.