Before dual fuel heat pump was invented, people are using gas furnace only or electricity furnace only. The effect of this condition is quite overwhelming; people spend a lot to stay warm during winter and keep cool during summer. It is even worse since in older period, the cost of running natural gas is not as cheap as now.
Contractors and customers are also complaining about the dual fuel heat pump prices. Paying for one unit and its installation already cost a lot. Supplying the machine with necessities also costs quite big sum of money. Not to mention, one source energy heat pump might not work at all in certain circumstances. For example, when the electricity went off or gas line is having trouble.
Upon reading dual fuel heat pump reviews, buyers will find that dual fuel offer attractive advantages for any houses. In particular, buyers might fall for energy saving mode.
Dual Fuel Heat Pump Cost Effective
Back then, people love the idea of dual fuel heat pump for its theoretically correct assumption. Think about it this way. People could switch freely between electricity and gas furnace. This switching process will depend on outdoor temperature. When it is too hot, then electricity will be used. When it is too cold, then gas furnace will be turned on.
In theory, people might see this switching ability as brand new invention. Some also say that customers could save even more with this model. Is that so? Fact provides different proofs. Changing to dual fuel is not a matter of getting maximum efficiency, but maximum comfort.
Dual Fuel Split System Versus Standard Split System Costs
Keep in mind that back then natural gas costs a lot. For this reason, gas furnace or heat pump will be quite pricey. Now that the cost of natural gas and electricity go lower, old options seem okay. Upon closer inspection, combining gas furnace and heat pump saves a little bit more than dual fuel heat pump. Does it really worth the money so anyone should change to dual fuel?
For an example, compare standard split system and dual fuel heat pump. For installation, standard heat pump costs $7150 while the operating cost per year reaches $2114. Surprisingly, dual fuel heat pump costs $8015 to install and $1855 for annual running. It can be seen that costumers should spend four years before installation difference could be paid from running cost difference.
What is Dual Fuel Heat Pumps?
Short answer to this question will be “a combination of gas furnace and electric heat pump”. Both elements are taking turn to run the system. In conclusion, these energy sources will be managed as efficient as possible to provide maximum comfort for house owners. To get a clearer explanation, you should learn each component in the machine.
1. Outside Unit
As its name implies, outside unit is placed outdoor. It contains refrigerant, outdoor coil & one fan. Another name for this unit is condensing unit or heat pump. Here, the refrigerant is being cycled to capture and deliver heat. If this unit is broken, contractor needs to open a box with lots of parts. They have to be extra careful.
2. Oil Or Gas Furnaces
This unit will be the main heating energy during fall and winter. Different parts of region might use different substance for their furnace. Some very popular elements are natural gas, propane and oil. Furnace is connected to a blower. This blower will pull inside heated or cooled air into owners’ house.
3. Indoor Coil
If condensing unit requires coil to connect fan and refrigerant cycling unit, why indoor unit doesn’t need one? The only difference with indoor coil is its location. Indoor coil is not olaced inside a box. It hangs from blower to oil or gas furnaces.
4. Refrigerant Lines
This is basically the copper lines that costumers could find between coils. Its function is delivering refrigerant from outdoor to indoor unit and vice versa.
How Does Dual Fuel Systems Work?
Basic Work Load Division
As mentioned previously, dual fuel system could work using heat pump energy or gas furnace energy. Many customers might want to know how this unit divides their work load. When temperature is quite high, heat pump will turn on its function as central air conditioning. This will continue until fall and the beginning of winter.
Once temperature is hitting below zero degree, heat pump will rest and gas furnace will take over. In short, gas furnace will be the main source of heating. Unless gas furnace is failing, heat pump will be on “sleep” mode.
Transferring heat is far more energy-saving than creating heat. Therefore, when the temperature reaches 35 degree Farenheit or higher, heat pump could work just well.
It will collect heat and bring it inside the house. When temperature slowly falls under 35 degree Farenheit, gas furnace will immediately take over. It heats cold air and blow heated air into the house.
In order to cool down the heated temperature, heat pumps will run cool refrigerant through air conditioning coils. These coils are located inside the furnace. Then, fan will absorb hot air inside and blow it through AC coils.
As the result, the air will be cooled down and ready to be blown back into the house. These steps are very similar to normal work load of air conditioning system.
During winter, heat pump will reverse the steps, blowing hot refrigerant first to the coils.
Five Best Dual Fuel Heat Pump Brands and Costs
On top of the list, there is Carrier. This is a great brand with best value for higher price. Keep in mind that certain heat pump model only fits to certain gas furnace also. Those buyers who fall hard for Carrier should take Infinity 16. It has 17.5 SEER and 9.5 HSPF. Best pair for this model is Infinity 96 for gas furnace. Its efficiency rate is 96.7. Buyers need to prepare $8800 for installed unit.
Another great performance unit is Rheem Classic RP16. It offers 16 SEER for cooling and 10 HSPF for heating. This is a strong choice that doesn’t fall too far from Carrier series. Looking for a perfect pair? Just take Classic R95P. Its efficiency rate reaches 95 percent. The price for this pairing after installed is $8300.
Don’t doubt its quality just because you never heard of it before. Heil is part of International Comfort Products. This company is parent for multiple brands. Take Heil Quiet-Comfort 15 which offer 15 SEER and 9 HSPF. For gas furnace, put on Heil Quiet-Comfort 96. Its name reflects model’s efficiency which reaches 96.2 percent. Buyers need to prepare $7750 for unit and installation.
Looking for a pair of affordable but strong heat pumps? Choose Goodman. In particular, GSZ16 works pretty well with its 16 SEER and 9 HSPF. From this brand, buyers could take GMEC 96 as GSZ16 pair. This model has 96 percent efficiency. In total, buyers will spend only $6800 including installation.
Last option is not always the cheapest. Lennox is known to put up quality first. Buyers who want this brand should take Elite XP16. This model boasts 17 SEER and 9.5 HSPF. For pairing, no other model could do better than Elite EL296V. Its efficiency rises to 96 percent. However, the total cost of unit and installation reaches $8650.