Many homeowners are upgrading to duel fuel heat pumps. What does this mean for green energy? It could mean that you have a more efficient home.
Conventional heat pumps are great for pumping heat into and out of a home where there are moderate temperature swings. If you live in the south, this is a good thing. Unfortunately, they’re notoriously noisy, inefficient, and really expensive to run in the north, which is why you rarely see them installed in New York.
Duel fuel pumps are different. They attach to your existing furnace and work like a high-efficiency central air conditioning unit. In the spring and fall, they provide cheap heat. When the temperature drops, the pump shuts off and your furnace takes over. While they are more expensive than traditional A/C units, they can pay for themselves in about 5 or 6 years.
Heat pumps transfer heat instead of trying to create it through burning of fuel. Even when it’s cold outside, there’s still a lot of heat that can be pumped. Under ideal conditions, a heat pump will transfer 300 percent more energy than it consumes, which bests even the most efficient gas furnace operating at 90% efficiency.
These heating and cooling repair experts work on them all the time, and many of the more reputable businesses know how to service them, so that should never be an issue.
Not only will you save money over the long term, you get tax credits immediately which will help you cut the initial cost down by quite a bit. On top of the credits, you may be able to get a rebate from the manufacturer, saving you even more money.
The tax credit and rebate will, of course, depend entirely on the unit you purchase.
Analyze To Make Sure It’s a Good Deal
Before you sign up for anything, start with a heating and cooling load analysis. Don’t just trust the label on the old furnace. Ask your installer to show you all of the numbers before you make a move. There’s a chance your new duel fuel system might not have been sized correctly and, even if it was sized properly, any home improvements you make might alter your heating and cooling needs.
Run the numbers using different technologies. No one number will show you a true apples-to-apples comparison. For the sake of cooling efficiency, check the Seasonal Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The higher the number, the more efficient your system is. Obviously, higher ratio units cost more money, but for every 2 points, you can reduce cooling costs by roughly 15%.
Finally, ask about compatibility. Duel fuel pumps are designed to work as an A/C replacement, but older furnaces might not work with a new system. You may need to also get a new furnace for the duel fuel system to work properly.