Why Dual-Fuel Heating Works in Greater Cincinnati Homes
by Greg Leisgang on January 28, 2013
Posted in: Heating
Dual-fuel heating is a relatively new approach to conditioning homes in Cincinnati. It employs all of the energy efficiency of a heat pump and switches to a gas furnace when temperatures fall into the 30s or lower. This kind of system lets you extract the heat in the air using the heat pump and only uses fuel when the outdoor temperatures don't have enough heat to warm your home efficiently.
How dual-fuel heating works
A heat pump is capable of creating up to three watts of heat for each watt of electricity it uses. This kind of efficiency is among the best available, but when temperatures drop, less heat is in the air for the heat pump to extract. During colder weather, the combustion furnace takes over. The most efficient combustion furnaces can reach efficiencies close to 98 percent, which is far less than the 300 percent efficiency a heat pump may be able to provide.
When the dual-fuel heating system is installed, the HVAC technician selects a set point or balance point inside the thermostat that tells the heat pump when to shut off and turn on the fuel-burning furnace. The balance-point temperature varies based on the capability of the heat pump to create heat for your home. Some pumps can create sufficient heat even when outdoor temperatures fall into the 20s.
This type of heating system is so efficient because you're only using fuel during the coldest weather throughout the heating season. Given the heat pump's high efficiency for heating, you only need to use fuel during the coldest weather. You'll save money during the fall and spring and on milder winter days, relying on fuel only when the weather is coldest. Dual-fuel systems also let you take advantage of fluctuating energy prices, which rise and fall with the market.
If you would like more information about a dual-fuel heating system, contact Tri-County Heating & Cooling. We've provided HVAC services to the Butler County and Greater Cincinnati area for more than 40 years.
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