Orlando has some of the nicest winter weather in the country, with warm days and cool nights. A heat pump can be the most energy-efficient way to heat and cool homes in the area. The temperatures seldom dip below freezing and there’s usually enough warmth in the air to heat a home. Occasionally, however, hard freezes occur in Orlando, which can tax an air-source heat pump as it tries to extract heat from the outdoors.
A dual-fuel heat pump provides two options for winter heating. The first is to gather the heat from the air, concentrate it and send it indoors where the air handler distributes it. The second choice is to burn gas, propane or oil for heating when the temperatures fall below freezing. The burner is in an adjacent unit and the air handler circulates the heated air through the ductwork inside the home.
While a pump is the ideal way to cool and heat homes in Orlando, one with the dual-fuel function may be unnecessary. Exceptions include residential environments that need to maintain continuous warmth, like residential care homes for the elderly or children. Standard pumps enter a defrost cycle when the coils on the outdoor condenser develop a layer of frost. Until the unit melts the frost, it cannot deliver heat indoors. This cycle is rare with a dual-fuel pump, unless the appliance needs maintenance.
Many pumps come with auxiliary electric heating elements that provide extra heat when temperatures fall below 32 degrees. Using the auxiliary heater adds to the energy the heat pump consumes, but since temperatures in the 20s and 30s are rare in Orlando, overall a single-fuel pump is usually adequate.
If you would like to discuss the merits of a dual-fuel heat pump with us, please contact Rinaldi’s Air Conditioning Service. We can help you evaluate the best heating and cooling appliance for your home and evaluate how you can get more out of your energy dollar, winter and summer.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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