Dual Fuel Heat Pumps: Why You Might Prefer Them to Other Pump Types

Posted on: 24 June 2015


Heat pumps typically rely on one fuel source, unless they are dual fuel pumps, which rely on two fuel sources. When your air conditioner is rather large or you have more than one because you have to heat a very large home, you might prefer a dual fuel heat pump. There are a few advantages that dual fuel pumps have over their single fuel source cousins.

Two Fuel Sources Means You Always Have a Backup Plan

Heat pumps with two fuel sources often run on electricity and one other type of fuel--gas, propane, or oil. Should your electricity suddenly go out, your heat will not because the other fuel source will keep it running. Although it may be difficult to get your warmed air to circulate without the electricity (unless your forced air furnace is also fueled by a secondary fuel like gas), the warm air in your home will remain a constant temperature until the electricity is turned back on.

Two Fuel Sources Increases Efficiency

With the exception of a loss of electricity, the two fuel sources actually increase energy efficiency. The pump and furnace work together, regulating the amount and the flow of heat into your home. Because the heat pump already does most of the work by removing cooler air and heating it up before returning it to your forced air furnace system, the furnace itself does not have to work as hard to produce heat. The main fuel source driving the heat pump takes over the primary position of heating your home, while the original fuel source, on which your furnace runs by itself, takes a back seat.

Dual Fuel Heat Pumps Keep the Air Moist

Because the heat pump is cycling inside air out and outside air in, there is a replenishment of moisture in the air. That means less skin irritations, less nose and throat problems and less money spent running a humidifier all winter long. With fewer skin and respiratory problems, you have fewer doctor's visits and bills and fewer medications to pay for as well.

The Installation Cost for a Dual Fuel Heat Pump

HVAC contractors like R P M Heating & Air Conditioning can install a dual fuel heat pump for $5,000 or less if your furnace already runs on gas or oil. It will cost a few thousand more to convert your furnace from electrical to gas or oil so that the dual fuel pump can function properly. It is the best upgrade for your heating and cooling system if you live in parts of the U.S. that get cold weather for several months but do not experience long stretches of arctic temperatures (i.e., temperatures below freezing, or below thirty-five degrees.)