If you’re considering a new air conditioner, now is the time to schedule an installation–temperatures have a few months to reach their warmest and technicians are less busy with emergency service calls than they would be during the summer or even the middle of winter–we may not get bitterly cold here long term, but we can still definitely deal with some chilly weather!
That said, if you’re looking for an air conditioner, and your heating system is also about to call it quits, you might want to consider a dual fuel system! This is a combination heat pump and furnace that offers you the best of both worlds for year-round comfort–effective cooling and efficient heating. Read on to learn more!
How Does a Dual Fuel System Work?
A dual fuel system at its core is a heat pump system. A heat pump is set up very similarly to a traditional central air conditioner and works the same too, with one big difference. While both central AC systems and heat pumps pull heat out of your indoor air in the summertime to return chilled air to the home, the heat pump has a component called a reversing valve that allows the refrigerant to switch directions so it can provide heat, too.
But, albeit brief, our winters can potentially cause a heat pump to struggle once it drops to too low of a temperature. So, the furnace part of a dual fuel system cycles on to bring efficient heat. A gas-powered furnace is going to drain less power than a struggling heat pump when temperatures are chilly.
Dual Fuel vs. Heat Pump
One is not necessarily better than the other, when it comes to a dual fuel system versus a heat pump, it just depends on what’s best for your specific needs, home, and climate. A heat pump is an effective air conditioner and heater, but a dual fuel system helps you save even more money over the lifespan of the system in energy bills.
How Long Does a Dual Fuel System Last?
The short answer to this is, “it depends.” When well maintained, most HVAC systems should last about 10-15 years. Heat pump systems do need twice a year maintenance, which means if you have a dual fuel system, it needs to be inspected by a professional every 6 months.
During your maintenance tune-up, our technicians comprehensively inspect, clean, and adjust the components that need it. We also alert you to any small repair needs before they even have the chance to grow into much bigger, more expensive problems. A dual fuel system that gets this regular biannual maintenance can be expected to have a useful service life of about 15 years, but that lifespan could potentially be cut in half without professional maintenance.
We provide a wide variety of options for your cooling and heating needs! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team for any questions you might have regarding the AC systems we install and service.