With the increasing popularity of energy efficient heat pumps, more and more HVAC companies are building dual fuel systems that combine a heat pump with a gas furnace. For regions with cold winters, a dual fuel system is a good option, since homeowners get great savings from the energy efficient heat pump and cold weather performance from the gas furnace. That being said, how do you know which dual fuel system is the one you need? All you need to remember are a few key things and you can pick the right dual fuel system for your home.
For starters, make sure you get a good energy efficient heat pump in the dual fuel system. After all, the whole point of a dual fuel system is to get savings and a badly made heat pump ruins that. Try to find an affordable heat pump with a high SEER rating, a good compressor and R410A refrigerant. SEER is how we measure efficiency and the higher the better. A compressor is the working heart of the heat pump. If it doesn’t use a scroll compressor, then you should probably not buy it. R410A is a green refrigerant that is ozone-safe and the best alternative if you’re concerned about being green. Eventually, safe refrigerants like R410A are going to be the only ones you can get, so making the switch now could save you down the road.
The next ‘half’ you need to think about with a dual fuel system is the gas furnace side. Pick a gas furnace that has a high AFUE rating. AFUE is a measure of how efficiently a gas furnace or boiler burns their fuel. The higher, the better. Ideally, you would want a gas furnace with a 90% AFUE rating. A rating 90% or higher saves you money when you operate the furnace compared to previous generation models.
Lastly, check out the manufacturer’s warranty. Most good companies give anywhere from 5 to 10 years of coverage and many provide different warranties for the compressor and the other parts. If the warranty is less than 5 years, think hard about it before you buy. A guarantee on the compressor and heat exchanger is even better. Above all, read the warranty requirements, since a longer warranty may require you to register on the company web site. This only takes 5 minutes to do and is well worth, in some cases, the extra 5 or so years of protection.
So, there you are. Now you know what you should look for in a dual fuel system, packaged or otherwise. Bearing those three things in mind will put you on the road to HVAC success and savings. If you still have questions, contact an Ingram’s Water and Air representative.
Dual Fuel Heat Pump: The Best of Both Worlds:
An energy efficient heat pump is a versatile HVAC system in many ways superior to traditional HVAC solutions. Like a previous generation air conditioner, an energy efficient heat pump cools during summer, but is fitted with reverse cycle capability. When the temperature grows colder, an energy efficient heat pump can provide heating to maintain a comfortable home environment. This can simplify a home HVAC system and, in areas of the country with mild winters, may be the only HVAC system a homeowner needs. Unfortunately, for regions with very cold winters, an energy efficient heat pump is not a one-unit solution. As the exterior temperature drops, an energy efficient heat pump has more and more trouble providing sufficient warming since there is less and less heat in the outside air.
If you still want to enjoy the excellent savings an energy efficient heat pump can deliver in summer and mild weather seasons, then all is not lost. A dual fuel heat pump system is exactly what you’ve been looking for. Basically, a dual fuel heat pump uses an energy efficient heat pump as its primary heating and cooling element. But, when the temperature drops too low, a dual fuel heat pump can activate a gas furnace to maximize savings and keep your home warm. A good dual fuel heat pump system uses a high AFUE gas furnace for this to keep savings high. AFUE is an industry standard to measure gas furnace burning efficiency and the higher, the better.
So if you want the best of both worlds from your home HVAC system, invest in an energy efficient heat pump and gas furnace dual fuel system to start the savings.