Do I have a Dual Fuel System?

Do I have a Dual Fuel System?Not sure if you have a dual fuel heating and cooling system? Most homes feature either a gas-powered or heat-pump system with an electric heating backup. However, some homeowners enjoy the best of both worlds, employing the benefits of dual-fuel systems.

What is a Dual Fuel HVAC System?

Dual fuel systems deliver superior performance and efficiency by combing the best of gas furnace and heat pump technology. In dual fuel systems, both components share ductwork to distribute heated and cooled air throughout your home. In the summer and mild spring and fall weather, the heat pump provides the most efficient and least costly means of home comfort. In ideal conditions, heat pumps can transfer 300% more energy than they consume. In the coldest winter months (below 35-degrees), when heat pump systems are less efficient, the heat pump shuts off and the furnace takes over, delivering 90% efficiency on average.

How to Tell if You Have a Dual Fuel System

The easiest way to determine if you have a dual fuel system is to ask your local heating system repair company. However, it may be possible to determine this without a service call. The first place to look for this information is on the metal box inside or outside your home that controls your HVAC system. The model number on the faceplate of this unit, typed into a quick Google search, can help you uncover your system type. In addition to checking this panel, identifying key components of your HVAC system can help you determine what type of heating and cooling you have in your home.

Gas & Electric HVAC Identifiers

Setting your thermostat to engage heating and cooling, respectively, can help you identify your system. Here’s what to look for:

  • Gas
    Gas-powered heating units use a heat exchanger or burner produce heat. When you’re running the heat, check for the presence of a small blue flame glowing through the window at the front of your system. You will likely hear the noise of gas-powered systems in operation as well. These indicators point to the presence of gas-powered heat.
  • Heat Pump with Electric Heat Backup
    Heat pumps are typically powered by electricity. Heat pump components move heat from one place to the other based on the season. If you see brass pipes (the reversing valve) when looking inside the grill of your outdoor unit, you may have a heat pump. When temperatures plummet below the system’s capacity to effectively move heat, an electric heating element provides backup (emergency) heat to keep your home to temperature. These heating elements work similar to a radiator and don’t have a flame.

Have both? You may have a dual fuel HVAC system.

Clear up dual fuel confusion. Schedule an annual air conditioning service and maintenance and get your questions answered with H & H Heating & Air Conditioning today.


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