Residents of the Western Slope know how extreme temperatures can get throughout the year, from frigid winter temperatures to hot summer weather. A dual-fuel system can provide interior comfort under both conditions in one combined heat pump. These systems provide energy savings because the heat pumps extract heat from outside air to warm homes in the winter. In the summer, the pumps remove heat from the house and send it outdoors.
A well-maintained heat pump will offer up to 300 percent heating efficiency, compared to 97 percent that the highest-efficiency combustible furnace can create. The limiting factor with heat pumps in cold climates has been their ability to extract enough heat from the outside air when temperatures get close to freezing. Dual-fuel systems use backup heat, either gas, propane or oil, to heat the air when temperatures fall into the low 30s. Some systems can even burn wood or coal for backup radiant heat.
These systems cut the cost to heat homes because they use the heat in the air most of the time. You may not need combustion fuels until true winter sets in and temperatures don’t rise into the 30s. Instead of using fuel throughout the fall, winter and spring, you use it sporadically, which lowers your heating costs.
Besides having a potential 300 percent heating efficiency, upgrades to standard heat pumps can lower your energy bills even more:
- Scroll compressors. Compared to standard compressors, the scroll compressor warms the air 10 to 15 degrees warmer than a standard air-source heat pump.
- Variable-speed motors. These adjust air flow to the conditions in your HVAC system, and usually run at a slower but more continuous speed. This allows for more efficient humidity control and filtration.
- Dual-speed compressors. These adjust to the outdoor conditions and run slower when temperatures are moderate, using less electricity.
If you would like to learn more about dual-fuel systems, please contact Climate Control Company in Glenwood Springs. We provide heating and air conditioning services and installation for Western Colorado residents.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about dual-fuel systems and other HVAC topics, please visit our website.
Climate Control Company services Aspen, Vail and the surrounding Western slope communities in Colorado.