When designing a home heating system there are several options to chose from for providing that heat. There is the heat pump, furnace, boiler, solar, or even geothermal. But depending on where you live, both for availability to operate those systems efficiently, and for the climate, will have an effect on what system or systems you should choose.
One of the newest ways to heat your home is through a hybrid system. A hybrid heating system combines the high-power heating of a furnace with the efficient operation of a heat pump.
The furnace is a heating appliance that uses natural gas or propane to heat air that is blown throughout the home via a fan within the furnace. Gas furnaces are fairly inexpensive to purchase and install but are prone to fluctuating costs of operation due to the nature of the markets for the fuel that powers it. They provide powerful heating even when the outside air temperature is very low.
The heat pump is the machine that people often think of then they hear the term “AC unit”. When the refrigerant flows in one direction it provides cooling to the home. Through the use of a reversing valve, the refrigerant will flow the other way through the system and provide heating for the home. The heat pump offers efficient heating for the home and will offer four to five times the efficiency over an electric-only heating system. However they do not function well when the outside air temperature is forty degrees or less.
Hybrid Heating Systems
The hybrid heating system combines both the furnace and the heat pump for efficient heating across a wide variety of conditions. When the outside temperature is very low the furnace can take over heating duties and warm even the coldest of winter air. In milder weather the heat pump can provide the heating needed without blasting high temperature air through the ductwork causing uncomfortable, rapid fluctuations in temperature.
Properly setup, the hybrid system can pay for itself through saving on natural gas or propane within a timeframe of about three to five years.
Not every home will benefit from a hybrid system however. Each home has unique needs depending on its layout, available utilities, and climate it is located in. If you would like to find out what system is best for you, call us today and one of our trained professionals at Fire & Ice HVAC would be glad to assist you!