Dual Fuel heat pumps

All You Need To Know About Dual-Fuel Heat Pumps

Is a Dual-Fuel HVAC System the Right Choice?

With all of the talk about high efficiency, cost-effective, low carbon footprint energy use today most people have heard about dual-fuel heating systems. If not, a dual fuel heat pump is a system that essentially combines a typical electric heat pump with a high-efficiency gas furnace. Your traditional heating and cooling system consist of a conventional air conditioner and a furnace. A dual-fuel system replaces the traditional AC unit and integrates a heat pump in its place.

What Is a Heat Pump?

diagram explaining how heat pumps workWhile a heat pump looks and acts the same as your traditional A/C, the heat pump is equipped with a reversing valve that allows it to provide both cooled air during the warm and hot months as well as warm air during the cooler and even cold months of the year. One of the main differences between a gas furnace and an electric heat pump is how the heat is produced. In a typical gas furnace, heat is created using energy. Heat pumps are much more efficient because they merely transfer heat from the outside air to inside your home or vice versa. You may be asking yourself how does a heat pump pull heat out of freezing air?

There is latent heat energy in the air outside down to absolute zero or -459° F, and the refrigerant running through your heat pump system can boil at -55° F. Which allows the heat pump to pull that heat from the air outside, compress it within the refrigerant to a much warmer temperature and distribute it throughout the home. This may sound great, and it is. But like most things, a dual-fuel HVAC system has its advantages and disadvantages.

Is a Dual-Fuel Heating System Efficient?

High efficiency is one of the biggest advantages of a dual fuel heat pump. A dual fuel system combines the best of both electric and gas-fueled heating systems. Since the system automatically chooses the more efficient source of heat based on the outside air temperature. This way the homeowner gets the benefit of considerable energy cost savings.

Is a Dual-Fuel Heating System Cost-Effective?

Concept of finance and economy with piggy bankMore than 70% of your heating needs can be satisfied by the electrically driven heat pump, whose efficiency is extremely high. This highly energy-efficient heat pump considerably saves you on energy costs over the long run. A dual fuel heating system is estimated to save the average homeowner anywhere between 30 and 50 percent annually in energy costs. This hybrid heat pump system can pay for itself within three to five years.

Is a Dual-Fuel Heating System Better for the Environment?

Grass on footprint with CO2 written on itA great way to minimize your carbon footprint, a dual fuel heat pump is an environmentally friendly way to heat and cool your home. Since this hybrid heat pump system uses electric heating around 85% of the time, there is no need for gas to constantly fuel your furnace.

Is There More Maintenance With a Dual-Fuel System Than With My Traditional AC and Furnace?

The dual-fuel heat pump system remains in better condition for a longer period since both the electric heat pump and the furnace are combined into one system which makes their maintenance simpler. Regular maintenance is recommended to keep your HVAC system lasting longer and running more efficiently, no matter what system is being used.

What Are Some Disadvantages To Installing a Dual-Fuel Heat Pump?

  • Higher up-front price-The reason is, you’re essentially getting two efficient heating systems in one. Although this initial cost may not be much compared to the energy cost savings over a longer period
  • Additional costs-Upgrading to a dual-fuel system from a single system may require some additional costs. To accommodate the electric heat pump and the furnace of the dual system, you might need to upgrade the existing electrical service, wiring andor gas lines.

Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning Is Here 24/7 To Help

Homeowners in Sun Prairie, WI, and the surrounding area trust the Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning team with all their home repair and maintenance needs. They have experienced and knowledgeable techs that will get the job done right the first time. Call today to get help with any questions about your heating system and how you can upgrade today!

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Hot and Cold Spots: What Do They Reveal About the HVAC System?

Causes and Solutions for Hot and Cold Spots

Ever step into a shower and the hot water feels like it’s burning your skin because it's so cold? Going from one temperature extreme to the next is not always a pleasant experience. The same can be said about hot and cold spots in a house. This is when a person walks into one room and it feels like a bonfire was lit in the room, then they walk into the room right next to it and it feels like Antarctica. It’s quite an odd experience to go from one extreme to another when the rooms are so close together.

When these hot and cold spots start to occur, it tends to be a signal that something is not working properly with the HVAC system, and it needs to be repaired to get things back in order. In order to know if it will need repair or replacement, your first question should be based on the actual HVAC maintenance that the system has received.

Hot and Cold Spots Signal Airflow Problems

airflow problemsHot and cold spots in the house typically end up being caused by an airflow problem. There is either a room getting too much airflow, a room not getting enough airflow, or both. This inconsistency ends up resulting in noticeably different temperatures between rooms, even when they are right next to each other.

Airflow problems can be caused by a variety of different things. The ducts could be the wrong size, the ducts could be damaged or leaking, or the ducts could have been designed wrong when the house was initially built. Because there isn’t a clear cut answer to what’s causing the airflow problem, it’s important that homeowners figure this out first before implementing a solution.

The Best Way to Fix Airflow Problems

One common fix that many homeowners will try to add more airflow. Makes sense right? If a room isn’t getting enough airflow, just add an additional duct and supply vent to get more air into the room. Well, this may be a quick fix, but it isn’t a good long-term solution. Just throwing something in place won’t fix the problem.

why hot and cold spots

The airflow problem should be properly measured first. Many things need to be taken into account to determine a solution including how much air actually blows into each zone of the house, what the insulation levels and ductwork looks like, and what sources of air infiltration exist. Utilizing a professional can help homeowners measure these different aspects of airflow and build a solution that works to balance the airflow throughout the house.

Additional Reasons for Hot and Cold Spots

fixing airflow problemsImproper zoning is another common cause of hot and cold spots. A zoning system helps homeowners control the different rooms or “zones” of the house based on those zones rather than setting a temperature for the entire house.

When a house isn’t zoned, the temperatures can easily become inconsistent between different zones and rooms. Hot and cold spots could also be from a homeowner overworking the HVAC system. If the system is overworked, parts of it can shut down or malfunction and lead to inconsistent airflow.

Finally, hot and cold spots could also be due to different HVAC issues like air leaks around doors, windows, or attic stairs. Checking for these leaks and sealing them will allow the temperatures to balance and put an end to those hot and cold spots.

About Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning

Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning is dedicated to providing the best plumbing, electrical and indoor air comfort solutions to its customers. Every job is tailored to the specific situation and budget and all their technicians have completed rigorous training for added customer peace of mind.