Heat Pumps (Dual Fuel) Systems in Utah
A dual fuel system can solve a lot of issues for homeowners, but it’s really nothing more than a combined HVAC system combined with a heat pump and a gas or oil furnace. It’s got the best of both types of heating, allowing more homeowners––especially Utah homeowners––to take advantage of the efficiency of a heat pump, no matter where they live. Our professionals at JP Cooling and Heating are handling more and more requests for these installations than ever before.
How Does It Work?
A Heat Pump works differently than a furnace in that it grabs the heat from the outside air and transfers it to inside your home. When it’s time to cool your home, it does the reverse by removing the heat from inside your home and sending it outdoors. Its heating process differs from a furnace, as a furnace actually uses its fuel (gas or oil) to create its own heat.
A dual fuel system relies on the heat pump to act as the air conditioner when needed, then turn around and heat the home when needed. However, a heat pump can only work well when outside temps remain above 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or so. After the temperatures outdoors dip below what’s specified, the furnace then takes over for heating with this system. It’s a tag-team affair, which opens up the geographical possibilities for heat pumps since the colder temperatures can now be handled.
Having a combination system like this definitely offers advantages over either just a heat pump or furnace alone. The biggest advantage is the efficiency of the system. The heat pump cools in the summer by removing the hot air from your home, so an air conditioner that creates its own cool air isn’t needed. Then in the colder weather, the furnace only runs when the temps fall below what the heat pump handles. Both these scenarios equate to an efficient system of less energy actually being used, which leads to less energy costs, i.e., less money you’re spending––which leads to another advantage. Less cost in the long run. The initial installation of both a heat pump and furnace combo will be more than just a heat pump or furnace alone. But in just a few years, you’ll recoup your investment by what you’ve saved in energy bills.
Air source heat pumps have a lot going for them. They’re efficient, versatile, and convenient. However, when the temperature drops too low, they can start to lose that efficiency. Less thermal energy in the air means less heat for the system to use. That can be a problem during the winter. Fortunately, there is a system that combines the efficiency of a heat pump with the output of a furnace: dual fuel systems.
You should ask, "How can it be more than 100% efficient?" Good question: and the answer is simple. A heat pump isn't producing heat like a gas or oil combustion appliance; it's moving heat. An air conditioner moves heat from inside to outside, and a heat pump, which is an air conditioner that can run backwards, moves heat from outside to inside.
In Northern climates you may wonder how that's possible if it's cold outside. But a high efficiency heat pump can do a great job down to about 38° F outside. We can install a hybrid system for the greatest efficiency. When it's too cold out for the heat pump, a high efficiency gas furnace takes over.
You'll be living with your heating system for 20 years or so, and it is important to install one that just sips energy, instead of chugging it!
Call JP Cooling and Heating for a free estimate for heat pump heating in Salt Lake and Utah counties, and the neighboring areas!
No doubt about it: Heat pumps are pretty amazing devices. On a hot summer day, a heat pump moves indoor heat to the outdoors. In cold weather, the cycle reverses and the heat pump somehow finds the heat outdoors that can be "pumped" inside.