The weather in the area where I live is a constant concern. We have fairly short summer seasons, but the excessive humidity and high temperatures make it impossible to get by without air conditioning. The winters are long and brutal, with temperatures well below zero and dangerous wind chill. The spring and fall are unpredictable and rarely mild enough to go without either heating or cooling. Because of relying on temperature control nearly all year round, my monthly energy bills are a large part of the budget. To optimize comfort and efficiency, I chose a dual fuel system for my home. A dual fuel system is far more expensive to install than most other types of heating and cooling. However, the equipment has paid for itself in energy savings. A dual fuel system combines a forced air gas furnace with an electric heat pump. During the warmer weather, the heat pump provides air conditioning. It works on the same principle as a refrigerator, simply moving heat from one place to another to create a cooling effect. It is more energy efficient than a conventional air conditioner and achieves superior dehumidification. When the weather starts to cool off, the heat pump reverses direction to bring ambient heat into the house. There is no burning of fossil fuels, eliminating any fear of carbon monoxide poisoning, fumes or hot surfaces. Plus, there’s no greenhouse gas emissions, making the system very environmentally friendly. However, the heat pump can only manage temperatures down to thirty-two degrees. At that point, the furnace automatically starts up and handles comfort for as long as necessary. The combination of the heat pump and furnace lessens wear and tear on both, leading to longer service lives and less chance of malfunction.