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What is a Dual Fuel System and is it Right for You?


Can a dual fuel HVAC system save you money? Will it address your comfort concerns? In this video, we will dive into dual fuel HVAC systems.

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Further reading: What is a Dual Fuel System? (Article)

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Video Transcription

Can a dual fuel HVAC system save you money? Will it address your comfort concerns? In this video, we will dive into dual fuel HVAC systems.

Hi, I’m Luke with Fire & Ice. Each year we meet with hundreds of Central Ohio homeowners considering adding a secondary fuel source to heat their home. While these are usually our more rural customers, there are some applications in the suburbs. IN this video, we will discuss what a dual fuel system is when it's recommended, see who should consider them, and explore its costs. You’ll know if a dual fuel HVAC system is for you by the end of this video.

What is a dual fuel HVAC system?

In the world of HVAC, dual fuel is when there is more than one fuel source used to heat a home. For example, in a conventional HVAC system, the heat is provided by a single source, either an electric heat pump and electric furnace combination or a gas furnace that uses natural gas to heat the home.

Two fuel sources are used and alternate to heat the home in dual-fuel systems. The most common dual fuel system consists of an electric heat pump and a gas furnace. However, some configurations will use an oil furnace instead. The heat pump will act as a conventional air conditioner during the summer. And during the winter, it provides the primary source of heat for your home until it becomes too cold outside. Most heat pumps can provide warmth in the mid-30’s with some even lower than that. Once the temperature outside reaches the lower range of the heat pump’s capabilities, the gas furnace will be used to heat the home.

When is a dual fuel system recommended?

There are three primary reasons to consider dual-fuel as an option. The first is if you already have a propane furnace or oil furnace. By running a dual fuel configuration, you’ll be able to offset your propane or oil fuel costs with the more economical heat pump.

The second reason to consider dual fuel is to be environmentally friendly. An electric system produces zero emissions. Running a heat pump as long as possible before utilizing a gas furnace for heat can reduce your carbon footprint if your home’s electricity is connected to solar panels.

The third reason is if you think that the price of natural gas might skyrocket in price. There’s an adage that history repeats itself, and in the 1970s, the cost of natural did just that. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. price of natural gas went from $1.09 per thousand cubic feet in 1970 to just under $3.00 per thousand cubic feet in 10 years. A dual fuel system can help offset any potential price hikes.

Who should consider a dual fuel system?

A dual fuel system is typically reserved for rural homeowners who don’t have access to natural gas and rely on propane or oil to heat their home. Another reason is if you have natural gas, the best reason to do dual fuel is you have very cheap electricity because you have solar panels.

However, it wouldn’t be practical to use both an electric heat pump and a natural gas furnace system in most instances. And if you have an all-electric system, you likely wouldn’t want to go to a dual fuel system either, since the upfront cost of adding a gas system will be much more expensive.

How much does a dual fuel system cost?

Several costs are associated with dual fuel systems, and some factors make up the cost. For ballpark purposes, a dual fuel system starts at around $10,000. Factors that can affect the price include the need for a gas line which can range between $300 and $2,000, and adding a propane tank can cost between $700 and $3,000. And the type of heat pump and gas furnace and their features can cost between $3,000 and $9,100 for a new gas furnace and $6,500 to $12,500 for a new heat pump.

What are the next steps?

I hope you have a better understanding of dual-fuel HVAC systems. If you want more information, give us a call or schedule a free in-home estimate by clicking the button at the top of the screen. We’d love to sit down and go over your options. Thank you for watching, and we look forward to making your day better.

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