Dual fuel equipment and zoning systems

With the continuing rise in energy costs, many home owners are switching to dual fuel heating and air conditioning systems. Also referred to as “fossil fuel” or “hybrid systems”, dual fuel systems incorporate a heat pump and a gas or oil fired furnace. A heat pump is an extremely efficient source of heating when outdoor temperatures are typically above the freezing point. A heat pump also serves as the central air conditioning system during the cooling season. As outdoor temperatures drop below freezing, gas or oil furnaces become a more efficient source of heating. By combining the two systems together, homeowners are able to reduce their heating bills. Jackson Systems offers a complete line of forced air zone control systems that are compatible with dual fuel equipment. Combining the two not only provides energy savings but total home comfort. If you have a question about dual fuel zoning, post your comment to this blog and we’ll get right back with you.

Updated: July 13, 2012 — 8:09 am

2 Comments

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  1. I like the idea that “by combining the two systems together, homeowners are able to reduce their HEATING bills”. However, I’m being told that the newer 2-stage 16+ SEER heat pumps are not ideal for zoning. More importantly most contractors in my area are not enthused when I tell them I prefer 3 or 4 zones and give all sorts of reasons why I would have problems with static pressure or something else. So I’m looking for innovative solutions to suggest to them to overcome their reluctance. I have a 3000 sq ft ranch with 3 bedrooms downstairs and one bedroom over the garage, plus family room (adjacent to garage), living room, kitchen, dining and sunroom in the middle. I have heard about modulating bypass dampers – could this be one solution. Thanks for your assistance.
    henry.

  2. Dear Henry,
    Thank you for your post and your questions. There are some special considerations to remember when dealing with the newer, higher SEER equipment. I assume that they are referring to the fact that most of the higher SEER pieces of equipment have a variable speed fan. Zoning can work fine with this application. You just need to make sure you set the maximum cfm (fan speed) back to as low as possible while still maintaining good airflow. We recommend the ideal setting to be at 400 cfm/ton. The lower setting will help with the fan wanting to ramp up while still allowing the equipment to ramp up slowly and idle back when all zones are satisfied. A barometric bypass damper will work just fine with most two-position zone dampers and panels. (3) or (4) zone systems work great as long as you install a bypass damper to help with the higher static pressure as zone dampers close. In fact, we sell a great, reliable zone panel that can do up to (6) zones right out of the box! We recommend a barometric bypass damper with two-position dampers. The modulating bypass dampers are too slow to react to the two-position or spring-return dampers. The modulating bypass dampers work best with modulating zone dampers. Please have your contractor contact us for help with their design. Thanks again for your interest and your questions. Please contact us with any further questions.
    Thanks,
    Kurt Wessling
    Jackson Systems, LLC

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