Everything You've Wanted to Know About Hybrid Heating Systems

If you live in an area that doesn’t get extremely cold during the winter, you might not have a gas or electric furnace installed in your home. After all, with the mild weather, a furnace probably wouldn’t get much regular daily use by your family. Instead, you probably have a heat pump installed to help with providing cool comfort during the summer, and warmth during your mild winters.


It’s important to note, however, that a heat pump works by transferring the outdoor air into your home. While these systems are known for their energy efficiency since they simply extract warmth and push it through your home, if the temperatures do get a little extra chilly outside, this brisk air is what’s being pulled inside. Doesn’t sound too cozy, does it? As an alternative, many homeowners are now having hybrid heating systems installed to keep their homes toasty on those extra chilly days when a heat pump isn’t enough to create a warm environment.


What is a hybrid heating system?

A hybrid heating system is made up of a heat pump and a natural gas furnace. On days when the temperatures outside get a little too cool for your family’s liking, the furnace can take over and provide the warmth you desire. You’re able to control when the switch takes place from the heat pump to the furnace by programming a specific temperature for the system. Once the temperature drops below that set number, the furnace will cycle on.


Will I be able to use the heat pump in the system during warm weather?

Yes! That’s one of the advantages to having this hybrid system installed. During the spring and summer months when you need cool comfort, the heat pump is incredibly efficient at extracting warm air from inside your home and pushing it out — the exact opposite of how the device works during the winter months.


Modern heat pumps are also known for having a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). It’s a measure of how efficient the system is at cooling the space where it’s installed. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the system will be.


Is the furnace part of the system efficient as well?

Yes! The gas-powered furnace will have a high Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE. It’s essentially the measure of how well the unit can warm an environment. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the unit is at keeping your home nice and toasty on days when temperatures are too cold for your heat pump to handle.


Are there any other benefits to having a hybrid heating system installed?

Along with being a means of both cooling in the summer and heating in the fall/winter, modern hybrid heating systems are also known for operating much more quietly compared to standard systems. This means that your sleep won’t be disrupted by a noisy furnace or air conditioner kicking on to keep you comfortable.


Additionally, the cooling function of the heat pump will make use of a modern refrigerant, as opposed to the standard R-22 variety used in older air conditioning systems. This new refrigerant is safer for the environment and more efficient at keeping your home cool.


How do I keep a hybrid heating system running efficiently?

As with any heating or cooling system, it will be important for you to schedule annual maintenance each year. This will help to ensure both the heat pump and the natural gas furnace are operating as efficiently as possible to keep your family comfortable.