A Dual-Fuel Heating System Ensures Optimal Efficiency Over The Entire Cincinnati Winter Season
by Greg Leisgang on January 10, 2013
Posted in: Heating
Because Cincinnati winters are cold and often harsh, homeowners must employ the use of a highly efficient heating system. A dual-fuel heating system may be one of the best, and more efficient, ways to heat your home. It offers the best of both worlds, since it uses a heat pump when the weather is milder, but switches to a gas-powered furnace when the temperatures fall below freezing.
Heat pumps work by moving heat from one place to another to condition your home. In the winter, a heat pump is capable of creating three times the amount of heat from every one unit of electricity the pump consumes to move heat. They work effectively until temperatures drop below freezing, which is when the backup furnace kicks in, although some new heat pumps can extract sufficient heat to warm homes in temperatures that are below freezing. When the system's installed, the HVAC contractor establishes a set point by adjusting the thermostat to tell the system when to turn off the heat pump and start using the gas furnace. A dual-fuel heating system can save energy dollars due to its very high heating efficiency, as much as 300 percent, whereas even the most efficient combustion furnaces only reach 98 percent efficiency.
Using the heat pump alone, however, won't offer the same energy-saving benefits. Heat pumps contain a supplemental heating element that kicks in when the pump isn't capable of delivering the heat you need. This heating element uses electricity and can only create one watt of heat from one watt of electricity. Therefore, a heat pump alone won't generate savings if the backup supplemental heat is used much at all. On colder days, when the efficiency of heat pumps drop, it's best to use the furnace for heat, which is what makes the dual-fuel system an attractive option for homes in our climate.
A dual-fuel heating system can burn propane, natural gas or heating oil. To learn more about this type of system, contact JonLe Heating & Cooling. We've provided HVAC services for Butler County and Greater Cincinnati for more than 50 years.
Image via Shutterstock.com