A dual fuel system consists of a natural gas furnace and an electric heat pump.
Combining these two different types of systems cost considerably more than the more conventional partnership of a furnace and air conditioner. However, the energy savings just about year round quickly help to recover the investment. The main advantage is the heat pump. While an air conditioner strictly provides cooling, a heat pump offers both heating and cooling capacity. During the summer, the heat pump operates similarly to an air conditioner. In cooling mode, there is no significant difference in efficiency. However, a heat pump is especially good at battling excess humidity which can allow for higher thermostat settings. The real benefits are found in cooling mode. When the outside temperature drops, the heat pump literally reverses the flow of refrigerant. It finds ambient heat in the outdoor air and transfers it inside. This process avoids burning fossil fuels and the creation of greenhouse gasses. There are no worries over carbon monoxide, fumes or hot surfaces. Heat pumps are wonderfully environmentally friendly. They are far more energy efficient than most other types of heating options, including forced air furnaces. In areas with milder weather, a heat pump manages year round temperature control. For locations with severe winter weather, the heat pump struggles once the outdoor temperature drops below freezing. With a dual fuel system, the heat pump operates the majority of the time. During the worst of winter, the furnace automatically starts up and handles demand. The system utilizes the most beneficial option for the weather, saving money and providing ideal comfort.