The economics of DX vs. other types of systems vary depending on a number of variables.
- Is the home both heated and air conditioned?
- Cost of Electricity
- Does your area have temperature extremes?
Is the home both heated and air conditioned?
Conventional oil and gas heating systems require an additional electric air-conditioning system for cooling. The cost of this air-conditioning system largely offsets the cost of installing the copper tubing needed for the DX system. As a result, homes that require both air-conditioning and heating are better candidates for DX systems.
Cost of Electricity
The primary cost of operating a DX system is the cost of electricity needed to circulate refrigerant through the tubing. The cost of electricity varies much more by region than does the cost of gas or oil. DX systems require less energy to provide a given amount of heat or coolness than other systems but the cost advantage this provides depends on the relative cost of electricity and oil and gas. Areas with inexpensive electricity are better candidates for DX systems.
Does your area have temperature extremes?
Air-to-air heat pumps do not function in extreme temperatures. In order to handle extreme temperatures they require the addition of an additional heating system. DX systems function best in extreme temperatures. They do not require additional heating or cooling systems. Areas which have greater variability in temperatures are better candidates for DX systems.