Adding a heat pump to a gas furnace to save money on year round energy bills

When my wife and I bought our house, it was already equipped with a duct system and a forced air furnace.  The heating system was relatively new and effectively handled the severe winter weather. Although quite energy efficient, our monthly heating bills were still rather high.  At that time, there was no means of air conditioning. For a couple of years, we got by with box fans and a portable air conditioner in the master bedroom window. We eventually decided to invest in central cooling and hired a local HVAC contractor for a recommendations.  When he suggested that we add a heat pump, I figured he was just trying to make some extra money. Purchasing and installing an electric heat pump was a far more expensive project than a conventional air conditioner. I then did some research and realized the advantages of the heat pump.  Partnering an electric heat pump with a gas furnace is called a dual fuel system, and saves a significant amount of money on annual temperature control. During the summer, the heat pump serves as a cooling system but is far more energy efficient. Along with costing less to operate, the heat pump effectively handles excess humidity and also uses a multi stage filtration system to optimize air quality.  When the weather cools off, the heat pump reverses operation to provide heat. Rather than a combustion process to generate heat, the system takes advantage of ambient heat in the outdoor air and brings it inside. The heat pump costs far less to run than the furnace, helping to trim monthly utility bills. However, the heat pump is only effective until the outside temperature drops below freezing. At that point, the furnace automatically takes over.  We not only enjoy year round temperature control and spend less on heating and cooling, but the furnace carries less of a workload and should last longer.

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