Dual Fuel HVAC systems- An Overview

Have you considered installing a heating and/or cooling system in your home just yet? A dual fuel system is another efficient option. However, it is essential that you understand the basics of this system before investing in it.

A dual-fuel split HVAC system also referred to as a Hybrid Split system combines a forced-air furnace together with a heat pump. The heat pump utilized for this system is energy efficient, and the furnace used is fuelled by either oil or natural gas. A hybrid split system is a cost-effective option for homeowners in areas experiencing mild winters. It ensures significant savings on energy cost while providing the highest degree of comfort all year round.

 

How does a Dual-Fuel HVAC system work?

Most heating and cooling systems depend on either a furnace or a heat pump alone to provide the required heating and/or cooling demand in a given space. Instead of depending on a singular heat source, a dual-fuel system combines the best of the two sources of heat energy, thereby, offering an efficient 2-in-1 heating and cooling system.

The heat pump component functions within mild to moderately cold temperatures but as soon as a significantly lower temperature level is sensed by the thermostat, the auxiliary oil or gas furnace kicks-off to augment the performance of the pump. In other words, the heat pump heats your home on chilly days and cools it during hot periods while the furnace basically heats up your home in cold conditions. The switch between the furnace and the heat pump is a function of the prevailing temperature and it is initiated by a dual-mode programmable thermostat. Switching can be automatic or initiated manually depending on your preference.

 

Why is a dual-fuel HVAC system good for you?

  1. Its ability to automatically switch between its components depending on the prevailing environmental condition is a plus.
  2. Significantly high SEER Rating. Most hybrid systems have SEER Rating 15 or higher. The higher the rating, the more efficient it is.
  3. It is versatile – Offers the benefits of a gas furnace and electric system (heat pump) together
  4. It runs at a minimal noise and it is comfortable and convenient to use
  5. A dual-fuel HVAC system is Environmentally friendly- No release of toxic substances into the environment and your carbon footprint is greatly reduced.
  6. Cost-Effective and Energy Saving – Hybrid systems will save you about 30-50% in energy bills
  7. It uses an automated system to achieve the desired temperature in your home

 

Drawbacks

  1. The initial cost of the equipment is on the high side
  2. A popular problem with the dual-fuel or hybrid HVAC system is the malfunctioning of the dual-mode programmable thermostat. This problem makes it difficult for the switch between the heat pump and the furnace to occur at very low temperatures and vice versa at mild or moderately cold temperatures.

 

Before taking a final decision on whether or not to install a dual-fuel HVAC system in your home, seek the opinion of a certified HVAC professional.

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