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Is a Dual Fuel Heat Pump Worth It?


We’ve talked a lot on our blog about the benefits of heat pump installation in Maryland. Since heat pumps don’t burn fuel to create heat, they are highly efficient at keeping your home comfortable—often able to generate $4 worth of heat for every dollar of electricity spent! And while heat pumps can, for the most part, handle the winters we get (they operate down to temps around 30 F), there may come days when you need a little boost. That’s where the dual fuel heat pump comes in!

What is a dual fuel heat pump?

Heat pumps work by extracting heat from the outside air and moving it into your home in the winter. Even if the air feels cold, there’s usually enough heat to keep your home warm. As we mentioned, heat pumps operate efficiently even down to around 30 F!

Most heat pumps have a backup electric heater that takes over when temperatures drop too low. Unfortunately, electric resistance heaters are extremely inefficient. A dual fuel heat pump substitutes the electric furnace for a much more efficient gas furnace, providing maximum efficiency, payback, and comfort levels of both fuels and systems available.

Why should I install a dual fuel heat pump?

While electric backup heaters don’t completely compromise the efficiency of your heat pump, there are a few distinct disadvantages:

  • As we mentioned, they are extremely inefficient.
  • Electric furnaces won’t operate during a power outage. A gas furnace, on the other hand, will be able to provide heat even when the lights go out—which comes in handy during snow storms that knock out the power!

People who already use gas furnaces and anyone thinking about air conditioner replacement should seriously consider installing a dual fuel heat pump. In fact, many people are already upgrading their air conditioners with a heat pump that works in conjunction with their existing furnace. This gives them the advantage of a new air conditioner for better cooling comfort and a heat pump (the same piece of equipment outside), which can be used most efficiently for heating on those days when the temperature is above 30 F.

With fuel costs continuing to rise, installing a heat pump makes more and more sense every day. And now, dual fuel heating enables you to add a second heating system to your current system and gives you an appealing alternative to the roller coaster pricing of fuel oil and most gas heating systems, especially because dual fuel rates are likely to remain fairly consistent year round.

If you want to get all the efficiency of a heat pump combined with the added efficiency and reliability of a gas furnace, don’t wait—call James A. Wheat & Sons to install a dual fuel heat pump in your home today! We can install both the heat pump and auxiliary gas furnace at the same time, or connect your new heat pump to your existing gas furnace.

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