If you own a heat pump, you are likely well aware of its benefits: it’s versatile, efficient, and quite effective at providing you with year-round comfort. But, what happens when it gets too cold? An electric heat pump is a great alternative for the traditional heater and air conditioner, however, in areas where temperatures drop too low for the heat pump to effectively heat the home, a hybrid heating system might be your best option.
Of course, winters here in North Carolina aren’t what our neighbors up North would call “harsh”, but temperatures have been known to drop significantly during the winter season. We believe that it is always better to be prepared, and having the right combination of HVAC systems can drastically improve your energy efficiency during a particularly cold winter season. Hybrid heating systems allow you to enjoy the efficiency of a heat pump without having to worry about energy costs when the weather becomes too extreme. Keep reading to learn more.
What is a Hybrid Heating System?
A hybrid heating system is the combination of an electric heat pump and gas furnace. The combination provides the advantages of both systems while eliminating the drawbacks of each. Hybrid heating systems are centralized, using a network of ducts to distribute warm air throughout the home. The heat pump portion works throughout the summer and much of the winter. But, when the temperature gets low enough, the gas furnace takes over.
What are the Benefits?
- Efficiency: The number one advantage of installing a hybrid heating system in your home is the energy efficiency. In general, heat pumps tend to be more energy efficient than traditional forced-air systems. This is because they do not generate their own heat, but rather move heat from one place to another. But when temperatures become too cold, the heat pump begins to struggle. Switching to a gas furnace then becomes the next best option in terms of energy efficiency. Operating an efficient system keeps both repair costs and utility bills to a minimum.
- Versatility: You’ll be able to use your hybrid heating system year-round due to the heat pump’s ability to both heat and cool your home. A heat pump works much like an air conditioner, relying on the flow of refrigerant to move heat from one place to another. A reversing valve is all that is needed to reverse the flow of refrigerant, allowing for summertime cooling! With just the flick of the switch, your heater will become an air conditioner.
- Environmentally Friendly: Due to their ability to switch between different fuel sources at the most economical time, hybrid heating systems are very environmentally friendly. Less energy will be spent trying to warm your home during the winter, so you’ll end up using fewer natural resources.
Call a Professional
Only a professional at a local Durham HVAC company can determine whether or not a hybrid heating system is the best option for your home. It is important to consult with an expert before you make any final decisions. Remember, to get the most out of your new system, you will need professional installation.