The winters in Minnesota are almost proverbial for how cold they become. People who enjoy snow and the chill of the season can certainly fall in love with the Minnesota winters, but there’s no question about just how deep that chill is. It takes a sturdy heating system in a home to deal with the sub-zero weather we experience for long stretches.
This is why homeowners in Minnesota are often cautious about using heat pumps for warmth. A heat pump works great in cooling mode during the summer, providing the same amount of comfort as a standard AC. But during winter, a heat pump working in heating mode must draw its warmth from outside the house and then exhaust it indoors—and when it’s freezing outside, a heat pump can run into serious problems maintaining efficiency.
The Dual Fuel System to the Rescue!
Although current heat pump technology is better at keeping up efficiency during cold weather, extreme cold can still present problems. This is why many households use dual fuel heat pumps, also known as hybrid heat pumps.
The way that a dual fuel system copes with the efficiency problem of a standard heat pump is that it has a back-up heating system—usually a propane-powered furnace—that comes on to assist when the temperature dips below the point where the heat pump cannot handle it alone. (This is known as the economic balance point.) The back-up heater will run as long as necessary, and then shut off automatically.
How can you tell if your home needs a dual fuel heat pump rather than a non-hybrid heat pump? That’s something to ask your installer. An HVAC professional can determine the heat load necessary for a heating system to keep your house comfortable in tough winters, and then determine if a hybrid heat pump is the answer.
Contact Freedom Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. to find out more about installing a dual fuel system. We service Woodbury, MN and throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.