Are you looking for the most energy efficient method for maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home year ‘round?
Perhaps you are thinking about installing a heat pump. A heat pump, as part of a central heating and cooling system, uses the outside air to both heat a home in winter and cool it in summer. A heat pump is very energy efficient—to a point. That point is right around 35 degrees. This is because a heat pump uses heat from the outdoors to warm your home. It can do this very effectively even at temperatures in the 40s. But once the outdoor temperature drops below 35 degrees, there’s no longer any heat left to pull. At this point the backup heat source inside the heat pump system takes over. Also known as the Auxiliary Heat or Emergency Heat, this is the most expensive, inefficient way to heat a home.
On the other hand, a natural gas furnace produces wonderful warm heat. It’s reliable and doesn’t care what the outside temperature is. The downside is that it costs a little more to heat with gas, both because a furnace can’t take advantage of the ambient air temperature like a heat pump can and because natural gas is a little more expensive in this area of the country than electricity. There is a tipping point though—35 degrees. Below this temperature, it is more cost effective and more comfortable to heat a home with natural gas than to use the auxiliary heater inside a heat pump.
When the comfort of gas heat is combined with the efficiency of an electric heat pump, you end up with an energy efficient, dual fuel heating and cooling system year ‘round! During the really cold days of the year, your gas furnace will keep you comfortably warm. To maximize efficiency, once the outside temperature rises above 35 degrees, again this system automatically switches back to the heat pump mode.
When installing a natural gas furnace, you will need a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home, and it needs to be tested regularly to make sure it is working properly.
If you’re wondering if dual fuel could be a cost effective, comfortable solution for heating and cooling your home, contact Romark A/C & Plumbing for a free analysis of your home’s heating and cooling system. We’ll look at your home from all sides and help you decide if it makes sense for you.