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Case Study: Solar Heating & AC With Dual Fuel Heat Pump Setup

Solar Heating & AC With Dual Fuel Heat Pump System Pingree Grove, IL

Case Study: Solar Heating & AC With Dual Fuel Heat Pump Setup

Problem: Pingree Grove, IL homeowners needed new central air after their current system leaked refrigerant. They also wanted to get more use from their solar panel array.

Solution: Installed a Daikin hybrid dual-fuel system with variable-speed gas furnace and VRV Life heat pump for cooling for better comfort that uses much less electricity.


Our homeowners in Pingree Grove, Il certainly knew how to make the most of an unfortunate situation! Just before cooling season, they discovered their AC had a refrigerant leak and would need to be replaced.

At the same time, however, they were thinking about the solar panels on their home and how they could get more out of them. Sure, their electric bill was pretty much nonexistent — most of the year anyway.

But, they’d rely on ComEd once summer rolled around because their old air conditioner needed a lot of power. And, they still had a hefty gas bill every winter.

Our homeowners brought up all these concerns when they sat down with our team to choose a new system. Was there a way to get more out of their solar array and reduce their energy use all year?

We were happy to tell them: Yes, there is!

Moving from conventional heat and AC to a heat pump system would let them heat and cool their home with electricity. And, with a dual fuel system, they’d never worry about sacrificing comfort — particularly in the dead of winter.

The technology behind all this has been around for a while. But, it’s only become advanced enough over the last few years to really keep up with the weather in our region.

In this case study, we’ll explore:

  1. How Hybrid Dual-Fuel Systems Work
  2. Energy Independence With Heat Pumps And Solar Power
  3. Heating Or Cooling A Split Ranch Home
  4. Smart Thermostat And Indoor Air Quality

And, if you have any questions or want to learn more about how a dual fuel system would work in your Fox River Valley Home, click below or call Compass Heating and Air at (630) 504-8688 for your free consultation.

How Hybrid Dual Fuel Systems Work

A hybrid dual fuel system is an HVAC setup that uses more than one source to heat and cool your home. When we’re talking about the kind of cutting-edge technology we used in this Pingree Grove, IL home, we’re looking specifically at the Daikin VRV Life series.

Download The Daikin Guide

In this case, our homeowners now rely on a heat pump for all their cooling needs and most of their heating. As a backup, they also have a gas furnace (we’ll get into that a little more later).

A system like this wouldn’t have worked even ten years ago in Pingree Grove. Those older heat pumps were primarily for cooling — they’d never be strong enough to keep a house warm in the winter.

Related: Why Are My Upstairs Rooms Colder Than Downstairs?

But, today’s heat pumps can maintain a warm temperature even when it’s negative 13 degrees outside. And, it uses much less energy than a gas furnace. On top of that, the hybrid system provides peace of mind.

 How A Daikin Hybrid Dual Fuel System Works

Benefits Of Dual Fuel HVAC In Pingree Grove, IL

With a dual fuel hybrid system, our homeowners will always use as little energy as possible. Heat pumps are much, much more energy efficient than gas, oil or propane heat.

As a result, their gas bill will be next to nothing, even in the winter. But, their home will still be warm.

However, we did mention that even the best heat pumps have a limit: negative 13 degrees. THat’s where the furnace comes in.

The Daikin VRV Life equipment can switch between the heat pump and gas furnace on its own. Our homeowners set a temperature threshold, and if it gets colder than that, their HVAC system switches to the gas furnace until the home warms up.

The beauty of it is that they’ll rarely use the furnace! In our experience in the Fox River Valley, it may click on once or twice all winter. But, it’s there when our homeowners will need it.

Related: What Makes A Dual-Fuel Hybrid HVAC System So Great?

High-Efficiency Gas Heat

Even the gas furnace is more efficient than their old one. Our homeowners replaced an old 80-percent AFUE model. That means it burned off 20 percent of the gas it used as exhaust instead of using it to heat their home.

Their new Daikin model is 98 percent. And, it’s a two speed model, which means it can run at a lower speed to better maintain the temperature.

Related: ComEd Rebates For High-Efficiency Heating And Cooling

That’s different from one-stage systems that can only turn on and ogg. They’re the more common models, where it doesn’t kick in until the house feels a little chilly. Then, they use a lot of energy to make each room warm again.

With the two-stage furnace a s backup to the heat pump, our homeowners enjoy the cleanest, most comfortable and energy-efficient heating and cooling available — especially now that they’ve combined it with their solar panels.

Energy Independence With Heat Pumps And Solar Power

The biggest energy draw in just about any home is the HVAC system. That means even the best solar panels can’t get you completely off the grid when you’re relying on fossil fuels for heat — or even an older AC in the summer.

That changed for our homeowners when they went hybrid.

As we mentioned, the heat pump is exceptionally energy-efficient. As a result, they use electricity, not gas, for almost all their heating and cooling needs.

Related: Solar Power And High-Efficiency Heating & Cooling

And, since they don’t need as much electricity as they used to, their solar panels can provide almost all the power they need. They’ve all but eliminated the gas bill. And, they don’t even use that much more electricity by going with a heat pump year-round.

Converting their heating and cooling to energy-efficient electric HVAC was the best and biggest step our homeowners could get the most from their solar array.

 A Heat Pump Saves Energy And Keeps You Comfortable

They also saved money on the installation: ComEd offers cash incentives for homeowners to install more energy-efficient appliances in their home. We helped them get more than $1,500 cash back on the job.

Related: Will Solar Power Get My Electric Heater Through An Illinois Winter?

Daikin VRV Life Dual Fuel Installation In Pingree Grove, IL

Do you want to learn more about taking your home’s comfort and energy efficiency to the next level? Click below for a free consultation with Compass Heating and Air about a Daikin VRV Life dual fuel installation in Pingree Grove or anywhere in the Fox River Valley.

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