Living in Albuquerque means facing just about every type of weather extreme. The summers are hot and dry with temperature climbing into the mid nineties. The winters are short but super cold and snowy. We can expect the temperature to fall below freezing for about five or six months. The wide variation of conditions requires both a heating and cooling system. While the combination of an air conditioner and furnace is the most popular solution, I chose a dual fuel system for my home. The initial investment to purchase and install the system was more expensive, but I’ve recovered the cost in lower utility bills. A dual fuel system partners a gas furnace with an electric heat pump. The advantage of a heat pump is that it provides both heating and cooling capabilities. During the summer, it acts almost exactly like a conventional air conditioner. It pulls heat out of the house and conveys it outside by way of refrigerant. When the weather turns cooler, the heat pump reverses the flow of refrigerant and draws from ambient heat in the outside air. The process avoids the environmental impact of the combustion process. Rather than burn fossil fuels, it simply moves existing heat from one place to another. An electric heat pump is more energy efficient than the furnace. It handles the home’s comfort needs for the majority of the year. Once the outdoor temperature drops below freezing, the furnace takes over. Having two fuel sources allows us to utilize the most effective and efficient option and keep our energy bills to a minimum.