What Is a Dual Fuel AC System?

Cooling and heating a house in Southern Arizona can offer some unique problems. In most parts of the country, homes require an equal level of heating and cooling across the year, so they use separate air conditioners and heaters to handle these tasks. But in Phoenix, air conditioners do most of the work, and heaters only need to run a fraction of the year. It’s not necessarily worth it to have a separate heating system under these conditions. But… you don’t want to get stuck without a heater to keep you warm during the surprise cold days.

An excellent solution to this problem is a dual fuel AC system, also known as a hybrid heat pump. Call Goettl Good Guys Air Conditioning to find out more about these comfort systems, and if they are a good option for your home. With proper installation of dual fuel AC systems in Catalina, AZ, homes can stay comfortable—no matter the temperature outside—without wasting excess energy.

What are dual fuel air conditioners?

A dual fuel AC is another name for a heat pump with a backup heating system that runs from a separate fuel source. These systems use the action of a heat pump to move heat from one place to another, so they can cool down a house during the long hot season and also provide warmth for the shorter cold season. When in cooling mode, heat pumps operate like any air conditioner: using electrical power to circulate refrigerant through an indoor and outdoor unit, drawing heat from the inside and releasing it to the outside. Not only do they work the same as standalone ACs, they provide the same amount of cooling as a comparably sized air conditioner.

In heating mode, a dual fuel AC works a bit differently. When the temperature is cool outside, but not yet too cold, the system simply reverses the action of cooling mode and moves heat from the outdoors and brings it indoors. But, when the temperature drops low enough that the system struggles to extract enough heat from outside, a backup heater with a separate fuel supply—usually a gas or propane-powered furnace—automatically turns on to make up the difference. The backup heater turns off again as soon as the outdoor temperature rises enough that the heat pump can handle the job of keeping the house warm on its own.

When in heating mode, hybrid heat pumps work far more energy-efficiently than furnaces and boilers. You will only need to use the more energy-consuming backup heater for a few days out of the year, so you will still receive the energy-efficient benefits of a heat pump.

Standard heat pumps and dual fuel AC systems in Catalina, AZ won’t work for every single home, and many homes won’t need the hybrid option and for sufficient heating.

Set up an appointment with Goettl Good Guys Air Conditioning and our AC and heat pump specialists to find out the best option for keeping your home comfortable all year long.