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What is a Dual Fuel Heating System and Is It Right for You?

Find out if a dual heating system is right for you and your home.

October 3, 2023

When it comes to heating your home, you have several options to choose from. Among these options, Trane dual fuel heating systems have been gaining popularity in recent years. But what exactly is a dual fuel heating system, and is it the right choice for your home? Here are a few tips to help you decide if a dual fuel heating system is right for you: keeping your home toasty while making you feel good about energy conservation, too.

Understanding Dual Fuel Heating Systems

A dual fuel heating system, also known as a hybrid heating system, combines two different heating sources to efficiently heat your home. Typically, these systems use a combination of a primary heat source, such as a heat pump, and a secondary source, like a furnace or boiler.

How Dual Fuel Heating Systems Work

The primary component of a dual fuel heating system is a heat pump. Heat pumps are highly efficient because they don't generate heat; instead, they transfer it. During the winter, a heat pump extracts heat from the outdoor air and transfers it indoors to heat your home. In the summer, it reverses the process by removing heat from your home and releasing it outside, effectively providing both heating and cooling.

However, heat pumps become less efficient as the outdoor temperature drops. When the temperature falls below a certain point (usually around 32°F or 0°C), the heat pump's performance can decline significantly. This is where the secondary heating source, typically a gas furnace, propane furnace, or electric resistance heating, comes into play.

When the outdoor temperature is too cold for the heat pump to operate efficiently, the dual fuel system automatically switches to the secondary heat source. This ensures that your home stays warm and comfortable, even during extreme cold snaps.

Watch this video to learn about hybrid heat systems and how they work.

The Best of Both Worlds with Dual Fuel Heating

Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of dual fuel heating. 

Energy Efficiency

Dual fuel systems are highly efficient because they rely on the heat pump's energy-saving capabilities for most of the year. When the temperature drops, the switch to the secondary heat source ensures that you still get reliable heating without excessive energy consumption.

Cost Savings

By using the heat pump's efficient operation for most of the heating season, you can save on energy bills compared to using a single fuel source system throughout the year.

Environmental Benefits

Dual fuel systems are eco-friendly because they use electricity and a cleaner-burning fuel source (like natural gas or propane) instead of relying solely on fossil fuels. This can lead to reduced carbon emissions.

Year-Round Comfort

Heat pumps provide both heating and cooling, making dual fuel systems versatile. You get year-round comfort from a single system.


The automatic switchover to the secondary heat source ensures that you won't experience heating interruptions during extremely cold weather.

Zoned Heating

Dual fuel systems can be set up with zoning capabilities, allowing you to heat specific areas of your home more efficiently.

Is a Dual Fuel Heating System Right for You?

To decide if a Trane dual fuel heat pump system is right for here, consider these important factors: 

Sizing Your System Properly

Sizing your dual fuel heating system is crucial for optimal performance and efficiency. An HVAC professional can assess your home's heating and cooling needs to ensure the system is neither too large nor too small.

Maintenance Requirements

Regular maintenance is essential to keep your dual fuel system running smoothly. It's a good idea to schedule annual check-ups with a qualified technician to inspect and service your system.

Smart Thermostat Integration

Consider integrating a smart thermostat with your dual fuel system. Smart thermostats allow you to program heating and cooling schedules, monitor energy usage, and make adjustments remotely using your smartphone, enhancing convenience and energy efficiency.

Backup Power

Since dual fuel systems rely on electricity for the heat pump component, consider having a backup power source or generator in case of power outages. This ensures that your heating system remains operational during emergencies.

Financial Incentives

Check for available rebates, tax credits, or incentives for installing an energy-efficient dual fuel heating system. These incentives can help offset the initial costs and improve the system's return on investment.

Combustible Fuels

If your dual fuel system uses combustible fuels like natural gas or propane, ensure that your home has proper ventilation and safety measures in place to prevent potential hazards.

Trane’s Dual Fuel Heating Options

If you’re interested in dual heating, there are Trane dual fuel heat pump options. The first is installing a split system with separate heat pump and furnace components. The second option is to install a dual-fuel HVAC such as a Trane EarthWise Hybrid Dual Fuel Packaged System, which conveniently includes both in a single unit.

A smart thermostat, such as the Trane ComfortLink XL1050, can be programmed to optimize which fuel to use based on your electric utility rate. They never run at the same time. And, of course, a smart thermostat also allows you to control your heating from anywhere as well as to set energy-saving heating schedules — ensuring cozy comfort no matter what the weather’s like outside.Contact your local Trane Comfort Specialist today to learn more and see if dual fuel heating system is right for you.

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