Has the recent cold weather caused your electric bills to skyrocket?
If your answer is yes, you probably have a heat pump. If you live in an area without natural gas, you have been stuck with a heat pump with electric back-up heat. While very efficient at mild temperatures, heat pumps can draw serious amounts of electricity when it’s very cold outside. As you well know, high usage equals high bills.
There is a solution to the dreaded electric heat. A dual-fuel heat pump may be your ticket out of 700$ electric bills. But first, a brief lesson on heat pumps.
When the temperature outside gets below around 25 degrees, your heat pump becomes much less efficient. To deal with that problem, the system has a second source of heat. The “auxiliary” heat. You may have noticed it on your thermostat. The thermostat determines that the heat pump is not keeping up and calls for backup. That backup is the aux heat. It works well but consumes a lot of electricity.
The auxiliary heat uses resistance heat strips, the same principal as your toaster, just on a larger scale. They can draw an average of 40 amps. This is similar to the amount of electricity your electric oven uses. Imagine leaving your oven on nearly all day and night for days on end, and the bills that would arrive a month later.
In an area with no natural gas, options are limited and heat pumps with heat strips are king. There is an alternative though. A Dual Fuel heat pump uses a gas furnace instead of electric resistance heat strips. But wait! You don’t have gas!!??
While there may not be natural gas supplied from the street, propane can be brought to you. With a propane tank you can have access to gas to use for heat. The unique thing about a dual fuel heat pump is that the majority of the time you are getting heat from the heat pump.
Only when you really need it do you have to consume the propane. Meaning, you would use much less propane than if you just had a regular gas furnace that burned propane. This is nice because you do not have the need to fill a propane tank frequently.
There are many different size propane tanks to choose from these days, and you can even store tanks underground!
Check out what TVA has to say about it!