Why Choose Dual Fuel vs. All Geothermal?

Why Choose Dual Fuel vs. All Geothermal?

Does your home currently have a gas furnace? Are you thinking about making the switch to a geothermal heat pump for better heating efficiency?

If so, you should know you can maximize your indoor comfort and heating efficiency by opting for a dual-fuel heating system rather than a fully geothermal setup!

How does it work? Read on to learn everything you need to know about dual-fuel heating, its many benefits, and why you should consider opting for this type of integrated heating system.

What Is a Dual-Fuel Geothermal Heating System?

A dual-fuel geothermal system combines a gas-powered furnace with an electric geothermal heat pump. The system alternates between the two heating methods depending on outdoor temperatures and defaults to the more efficient heat source automatically.

A geothermal heat pump is inherently more efficient than a gas furnace when the weather is on the milder side. Geothermal does work in freezing conditions, however it can get too cold for geothermal to keep up and then it will switch to the furnace or boiler system.

When freezing temperatures hit, using a geothermal system alone requires more energy, and the heat pump is not able to warm the home as efficiently. At that point — which is referred to as the system’s balance point — a dual-fuel system automatically reverts to using the gas furnace as a backup heat source.

Because the system can switch between the two heat sources to warm the home, it’s more efficient than a fully geothermal system. That’s particularly true in cold climates like ours in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Individually, both systems have their merits, and by combining the two, you get the benefits of both in one highly efficient heating system.

For more info on geothermal heat pumps and how they work in the cold, check out Does Geothermal Heating Really Work In Cold Climates?

Why Opt for a Dual-Fuel Geothermal System Over Just a Heat Pump?

Aside from improved heating efficiency in winter, a dual-fuel geothermal system offers a number of benefits that homeowners in northern climates will certainly appreciate.

  • Takes advantage of existing gas lines. If you already have gas lines connected to your home, you can use the lines you currently have for the furnace portion of your system. This may save you some money on system installation expenses.
  • Costs less to operate. A dual-fuel system naturally reduces your monthly heating expenses because it automatically defaults to using the most efficient heating source based on outdoor temperatures. You’ll use the most economical fuel source no matter what the weather feels like.
  • Delivers consistent indoor comfort. Fully geothermal heating systems offer a highly energy-efficient way to keep your home comfortable, but in freezing weather, they’re not quite as efficient as natural gas-powered furnaces. With an integrated system, you’ll enjoy consistent heating and indoor comfort even in sub-freezing weather.
  • Helps control dry indoor air. One major drawback of using a gas-powered furnace is that it tends to suck all the moisture out of the air inside your home. If you suffer from severely dry skin or sinus issues as a result of low indoor humidity, switching to a dual-fuel system can make a huge difference in your indoor air quality.
  • Reduces environmental footprint. Because a dual-fuel geothermal system automatically uses the most economical/efficient heat source based on outdoor temperatures, it’s the most environmentally friendly and effective way to heat your home.
  • Option for manual heat source selection. Most dual-fuel systems come with an option for manual activation of either heat source, which gives you more control over indoor temperature and system efficiency.

Ready to Explore Your Geothermal Heating System Options?

Curious how a dual-fuel geothermal heating system can benefit your Minnesota or Wisconsin home? Perhaps you’re considering going fully geothermal?

Get in touch with our team at The Comfort Company to learn more about your options! We specialize in full-service geothermal installations and can help you explore which type of heating and cooling system is best suited to your unique needs.

To learn more or get started, feel free to give us a call today at 218-231-4436 or contact us to request a consultation!