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Could a Hybrid Heat Dual Fuel System Be Right for Your Chicago Home?

Heating your home during a cold Chicago winter is always a challenge. You need to keep the home at a comfortable level but don't want your energy bills to go sky-high as a result. When bitter blasts of winter weather come barreling down from Canada, you know your heating bills are going up or your home is going to get cold.

Hybrid Dual Fuel Systems to the Rescue

A hybrid heat dual fuel system is the answer to this dilemma. This system combines the best aspects of electric heating and fossil fuel heating. Your home will be comfortable throughout the winter along with your energy bills being as low as possible.

Typically, one unit of electric heating is lower in cost than one unit of gas, propane or oil fuel heating. However, electric heat pumps and furnaces have trouble keeping up once outside temperatures dip below freezing. The lower the outside temp goes, the more the electric heat struggles, which means the home isn't as comfortable as you want.

On the other hand, gas heating can handle the colder temperatures. However, because it's higher in cost per unit, it costs more than electric heating on the milder winter days. This is where the hybrid heat dual fuel system shines.

How Do Hybrid Heat Dual Fuel Systems Work?

On milder winter days, the electric heat pump is the workhorse. It can keep up with the heating needs and runs at a higher efficiency level. The fossil fuel furnace isn't turned on at all.

On cooler days or during the colder nights, the fossil fuel side of the system kicks in to supplement the electric heat pump. The electrical system provides a share of the necessary heating, so the fossil fuel doesn't have to do all the work. On those really bitter cold days, the fossil fuel will be doing most of the work, but only until the bitter cold moves out. The home remains comfortable no matter what the temperature.

Advantages of Hybrid Heat Dual Fuel Systems

When you install one of these systems, there are definite advantages over using either a pure electric system or a pure fossil fuel system for heating:

  • High efficiency - Your home will be using the most cost effective mixture of electricity and fossil fuel to keep your home comfortable.
  • Lower energy costs - You should see your energy bills go down. Those using gas now might see over 15 percent savings. Those on oil and propane might see over 50 percent savings on those bills. While electric bills will be higher, the overall energy costs will be lower.
  • Comfort level no matter the temperature - Your home will be comfortable no matter if it's a mild winter day or a bitter cold day with winds straight from the North Pole.

Who Are the Best Candidates for These Systems?

You might wonder if your home is a good candidate for the hybrid heat dual fuel system. Actually, almost any home can make this work. The key component is that the home needs to have a system of ductwork and used forced air to deliver heat throughout the home.

  • If you're building a new home, you can install this system without any issues.
  • If you have an existing furnace and central air conditioning, you can replace the central air conditioner with the electric heat pump.
  • If you're using window A/C units, you'll need to tie the heat pump into your existing ductwork.

If you have an older home that doesn't have ductwork and uses radiant heating instead of forced air, this system would require a complete retrofit and would not be a cost-effective solution in most cases.

For more information on a hybrid heat dual fuel system, contact to find a qualified contractor. We can refer you to HVAC contractors throughout Chicago, northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan.


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