Furnaces have been around for many years, and are known to be reliable and safe central heating systems. However, furnaces haven’t always been known as the most efficient systems out there. Older furnaces had a standing pilot light that remained on at all times, consuming energy even when the heating cycle was complete. Today’s furnaces are far more efficient, with an electronic ignition system that allows for at least 80% annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). However, this still may not be as efficient as a heat pump.
A heat pump is an air conditioning and heating system in one, which contains both an outdoor and an indoor unit much like a traditional air conditioning system. Heat pumps are efficient because they don’t use any energy to generate heat; they just shift heat from place to place. But on a very cold day, a heat pump may not have enough power to fully heat up a home. Dual fuel hybrid systems switch between the two units when temperatures drop too low, producing some of the most efficient heating possible.
Normally, when homeowners run their heating units, no outside unit runs. This is because a traditional air conditioner contains an outdoor unit and an indoor unit, while a furnace only has an indoor component connected to the ducts. But when you have a dual fuel hybrid system, you’ll probably notice the outdoor unit continues to run, even on a very cold night. This worries some homeowners, but if you know how a heat pump works, you know this is perfectly normal.
Heat pumps use refrigerant to move heat from the outside to the inside or vice versa when you switch it into heating mode. The outside unit, which contains the compressor, a large coil, and a fan, must continue to run in order to draw in outside air and absorb heat. The unit should be able to work effectively even in very cold weather. In fact, the gas furnace shouldn’t kick in until the temperature outside reaches the balance point the heat pump can meet, which is usually below freezing.
Air Conditioning Experts, Inc. can help you to learn more about your heater or provide professional repairs, maintenance, and installation for dual fuel hybrid systems in Norcross.