A thermostat with a cozy hat shows the way to savings with a dual fuel system

Dual Fuel, A Heat Pump & Furnace for Year Round Comfort

Oct 17, 2018 | Heating

A dual-fuel system is a year-round central heating and cooling system HVAC system that maximizes home comfort by pairing a heat pump with a gas or oil furnace. The system alternates between the two fuel sources to maintain the most comfortable temperature and humidity levels with the greatest efficiency. A heat pump will operate until temperatures plummet in the winter. Then the furnace will turn on utilizing gas or oil as the fuel source.

How does a heat pump work?

Everyone knows that furnaces generate heat by burning fuel.  On the other hand, heat pumps don’t create heat.  They merely move warmth from one place to another with the help of refrigerant, capturing and transferring heat from the outside unit to the indoors during the colder months, and vice-versa when the weather warms up.  The refrigerant absorbs heat from the outside air, compresses it, which makes it hotter, and then moves it to the evaporator coil. The evaporator coil heats up from the hot refrigerant passing through it and transfers the heat to the air that is forced across it by the blower motor.  As the moving air picks up the heat from the coil, the refrigerant inside the coil cools down and is recirculated to the heat pump to take up more heat from outside.  Most units capture heat from your outside air temperature, but they can also be set up to work geothermally from ground or water temperatures which are more consistent year-round than air temperatures but are more expensive to install initially.

What’s the benefit?

A real advantage of any heat pump is that it can provide central air conditioning for your home during the summer months by using that same refrigerant and the same duct work to pump the heat out of your house.  Also, electricity rates are generally lower than gas or oil, meaning that a heat pump system will cost less to operate than a fossil fuel fired furnace. So, when temperatures are above 30 degrees, the heat pump will run.

The furnace

The balance point for heating is reached when the heat pump can no longer absorb enough warmth to supply the heating needs of your home. When temperatures drop below 30 degrees, your dual heating system will supplement with heat from its secondary source, which is a gas or oil furnace. In other words, as soon as the balance point is reached, the oil or gas furnace kicks in, creating the heat that your home requires.

To maximize your savings and the lifespan of your dual fuel heating system, heed these critical points of advice:

Tread lightly on your thermostat

Find your comfort zone on the thermostat and leave it be. Changing the thermostat settings erratically will not cool or heat your home any quicker – but it will stress your system and make it perform less efficiently.

Get “smart” about your thermostat.

Consider adding a heat pump friendly smart thermostat for the most efficient use of your system, whether you’re home or away.

Maintain your system.

Properly cleaned and charged systems operate far more efficiently than those that have been neglected.  Contemporary Air Systems offers a Home Comfort Club to provide regular inspections and cleanings of your system. Preventative maintenance can prevent future breakdowns and extend the life of your heating and cooling system and maintain the manufacturer’s warranty requirements saving you money again.

Shop wisely if you need a replacement.

When it’s time to retire your heat pump system, look for high-efficiency Energy Star models, and pay attention to SEER ratings. Heating and cooling do represent about half the expense on a typical electric bill, so go for the unit that will give you consistent savings for years to come. High-efficiency units can turn out twice as much heat for the same cost as standard units, but the labor to install them is the same.

Call the professionals.

With over 25 years of HVAC experience, the team at Contemporary Air Systems can help you choose a dual fuel heating system for your home. Finance plans are also available for your budgeting convenience. Call us today to schedule a home visit and a free estimate at (410) 391-3070.

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Donna Morgan
Donna Morgan
01:10 22 May 19
Service is fast, personal, and professional. Well above expectations! Thank you for your honest assessments and for taking care of my renters as well!read more
Sasha Loffredo
Sasha Loffredo
18:43 21 May 19
Stop looking! You've found your Baltimore-area HVAC company! By far the best home service company we've ever had take care of something in our home. I wish they did more than HVAC! Every person we've interacted with at Contemporary Air Systems has been responsive, honest, reliable and customer-oriented. They've been maintaining and repairing our home's two crummy (installed by previous owners) HVAC units for four years now, including next-day attention to "help! the house is way too hot!" mid-July AC breakdowns two summers in a row (two different problems, each efficiently managed by Rick & his team). Thank you for all you do!read more
michael sensebaugh
michael sensebaugh
13:53 28 Jan 19
If you are looking for a heating & Ac Company STOP . Contemporary Air Systems are the most honest professional affordable courtesy company that has come to our home. We will always call on them when needed to take care of our heating & cooling systems. Thanks again to Contemporary Air Systems. Mike & Val.read more
Susan Goodlaxson
Susan Goodlaxson
01:50 18 Jan 19
Contemporary Air replaced my (ancient) furnace and central air units. My furnace stopped working abruptly on Christmas morning. I called Contemporary - at noon on Christmas day. The owner called me back - within the hour! Service men came to my home at 7AM on the 26th and on the morning of the 27th the new units were installed and functioning. After the workers left the owner called to ask about their work - and then came to my house to inspect that evening. I could not ask for better service. Professional - and fair.read more
Christopher Hicks
Christopher Hicks
16:21 26 Dec 18
Five Stars is not enough to rate the "Awesome" Job Contemporary Air System Co. has done. Rick and everyone at Contemporary were fantastic. I would refer anyone I know to them. They were incredibly responsive and the prices were fair. Best experience I've had bar-noneread more
Keishia Pratt
Keishia Pratt
13:45 20 Dec 18
Five Stars is not enough to rate the "Awesome" Job Contemporary Air System Co. has done with getting me a whole new HVAC system. I don't know where to begin. From the first time I called to setup an appointment, until my job was complete, they were very professional, polite, quick to respond, the detail and compassion they put in their work again five stars isn't enough (10 stars). Thank you Rick, Michelle and the 2 young men for doing an "Awesome job,read more
Eric Davidson
Eric Davidson
02:20 29 Nov 18
I will begin this post by noting that I did not purchase a system from Contemporary Air only because they did not sell the make and model I ultimately wanted. I dont submit many reviews but I felt it was necessary to credit Michelle and Rick on their honesty when helping me narrow my choices. They made it crystal clear that the expensive systems other dealers were pushing were unnecessary and I should keep it simple. When you are in the market for HVAC services, I would certainly reach out to the professionals at Contemporary Air Systems.read more
Brenda McCarthy
Brenda McCarthy
19:59 27 Nov 18
From the first time I called Contemporary Air until the final install was complete the service was outstanding. Michelle handled all the scheduling and was even able to move our appointment once our current HVAC system started really acting up. I was happy about that! Rick and his crew showed up on time and were very professional and helpful in explaining the system they would be installing (Bryant 3 ton heat pump system). My husband and I were both surprised that it only took one day to complete. The job is very neat and tidy and by that I mean all wires are taped and not hanging, PVC pipe is secure and not flapping around, all debris was cleaned up. We are very happy with the installation, price, product and customer service. My husband and I both would highly recommend Contemporary Air!!!read more
Alana Gaffney
Alana Gaffney
16:11 21 Nov 18
Wow! Fast, friendly, knowledgeable, considerate. Day before Thanksgiving and my family woke up to 56 degrees! Was able to get an appointment at a reasonable cost in just a couple of hours. But, Michelle asked a few more questions and walked me through some preliminary diagnostics, saving me time, money, and cold toes! She called me back just when she said she would (2×) to be sure everything was up and running. The next time something goes wrong, and it will, this will be the family I trust to keep my family warm.read more
Meredith McArdle
Meredith McArdle
02:57 14 Nov 18
Great company! They installed HVAC and continue to service yearly. They are easy to get ahold of to schedule. Everyone is polite and they explain everything.read more
Eleanor Kendig
Eleanor Kendig
20:59 13 Oct 18
Contemporary Air Systems did an excellent job on installing our new Bryant HVAC System! I had several estimates from other Companies but kept going back to Contemporary Air. Rick and Michelle ( the owners) were so easy to work with ; they complement each other ( Michelle is on top of all the paper work, the BG&E rebate and the registration) , Finances etc. and Rick knows exactly how to get the job done the correct way without missing any small detail.Their installers Aaron and Justin were polite and perfectionist ! The number #1 reason we picked Contemporary Air is we felt we could trust them completely and they did not disappoint! Thanks again Ellieread more
Stanford Mumford
Stanford Mumford
19:11 24 Aug 18
Contemporary air systems replaced my 49 year-old heating and air conditioning system. The work was efficient Timely and very very satisfying. Their technicians are courteous and very considerate of your home. The only complaint I had was Ithe replacement was unreadable for me. The installation was on Friday and a replacement thermostat was delivered promptly on Monday morning. I am thoroughly happy with every aspect of their work and highly recommend them.read more
Ralph J Picarello
Ralph J Picarello
05:03 16 Aug 18
Contemporary replace 17 year old furnace and AC. Michelle kept us up to date and somehow put a rush on the job. The last heat wave was terrible. Rick came out and explained the whole process and also was helpful with helping us pick out the right system. Everything was installed and running in half a day. Cleaned up and gone .Professional all the way. Recommend to anyone.read more
Christopher Whyte
Christopher Whyte
20:33 14 Aug 18
Replaced my old AC and gas furnace. These guys provided good communications, convenient scheduling, and a fair price. They also helped work a BGE rebate in a timely manner. I was very happy with the overall service. I would recommend them and use them again for my future HVAC needs.read more
Christina Petrides
Christina Petrides
14:18 13 Aug 18
Contemporary Air Services was amazing! I had to have my whole system replaced. They were very professional, friendly and great with my friend's dogs who were staying at my house. They worked until the job was complete and Rick came in to check that everything was good to go before and after the job was complete. They also registered my system for the warranty without me having to do a thing! Highly recommend!read more
Jennie Phaneuf
Jennie Phaneuf
16:56 07 Aug 18
The lovely folks at Contemporary Air Systems went out of their way in the customer service department. Michelle was extremely helpful, patient, and informative. Rick is an absolute star! Seriously, I don't think there is anyone nicer than Rick. He's knowledgeable and highly experienced. The two gentlemen that installed our unit were polite, friendly, and tidy. I couldn't be more happy with my experience and would definitely recommend them to anyone in need of their services.read more
Rob Grodsky
Rob Grodsky
22:25 07 Jul 18
I am so impressed with the professionalism of the entire staff of Contempray Air Systems. All my questions were answered fully and timely throughout the process. Moreover, the owner is hands-on as site manager and ensures the job is done to perfection.read more
Jackie Johnson
Jackie Johnson
19:44 01 Jul 18
I wanted to thank Contemporary Air for coming to my rescue this morning. Forcasted temperature today is 98. AC went out last night. I called an left a message and got a call back first thing this morning. Rick was at my house within an hour. Very professional and friendly. Fixed my AC in under an hour. Very affordable. I will definitely be using Contemporary Air for any future hvac work and will highly recommend to everyone. Thanks again for the great service!read more
michele nicole
michele nicole
16:23 18 Jun 18
I rarely write reviews but the service I received today was excellent. The contractor came to home the same day I called to make an appointment. He was polite and worked quickly to fix both my AC units all while explaining and showing me what the issues were. The price was very reasonable and affordable. Finally a business I can trust. I will always support this business.read more
Alan Lawson
Alan Lawson
03:15 07 Jun 18
Contemporary Air Systems, Inc. replaced our old heat pump with a new one from Bryant. From the initial contact with Michelle and Rick to the completion of the process we received excellent customer service. Everyone involved was professional and courteous as they removed the old unit and installed the new, always willing to answer any questions we had. We would definitely recommend them to anyone who appreciates prompt service and quality product.read more
Terrill Harris
Terrill Harris
03:03 21 May 18
I had a great experience with having my HVAC system replaced by Contemporary Air Systems. The staff was very professional and knowledgable. They made my transition to my new system seamless. I would highly recommend them.read more
Andrew Rosenstein
Andrew Rosenstein
02:14 10 May 18
I have been dealing with Rick and Michelle for the past decade. Always friendly, knowledgeable, excellent customer service from them. Rick personally oversees all the jobs. Excellent prices, and products. You will not be disappointed!read more
Angela Single
Angela Single
22:22 23 Apr 18
Contemporary Air Systems has been great since I called nervous about a noise my old unit was making. Rick came out to check and upon discussion, we decided to start moving toward a new system. He & Michelle made the process easy. He worked with my schedule, which is difficult at best, and she worked almost exclusively through email, because it's easier for me. The actual installation was quick & didn't really disrupt the household. Both technicians were awesome, and Rick came to double check everything just in case. The new units have both been tested in this crazy MD weather and they work equally well. I'm excited to see how they impact our power use. I'm very happy with CAS and the treatment from their staff. I'd recommend them to everyone who needs the services they can provide.read more
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Contemporary Air Systems, Inc., is a Maryland (MD) Heating, Cooling, Air Conditioning, Heat Pump, Ductless Mini-Split and Furnace repair, service, replacement and maintenance Company located in Baltimore County. We service Baltimore and Harford County. Contemporary Air Systems, Inc. employs only the best technician for air conditioner repair and furnace repair as well as all air conditioner replacement and furnace replacement in Baltimore MD, White Marsh MD, Towson MD, Timonium MD, Cockeysville MD, Perry Hall MD, Hunt Valley MD, Phoenix MD, Bel Air MD, Edgewood MD, Fallston MD, Kingsville MD, Lutherville MD, Monkton MD, Parkton MD, Rosedale MD, Essex MD, Dundalk MD, Middle River MD, Parkville MD, Fork MD, Joppa MD, and more. So when you ask to find "A heating and air conditioning repair or service company near me," you've come to the right place. To set-up a repair service, estimate or replacement estimate, call us. Contemporary Air Systems, Inc. services all furnace, AC, humidifier, filter, thermostat, heat pump, air cleaner and air handler brands including Carrier, Bryant, Payne, Trane, Rheem, Ruud, Amana, Frigidaire, Gibson, Goodman, Maytag, American Standard, Aprilaire, Honeywell, White Rogers, Lennox, Armstrong, Daikin, Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, York and more.