Hybrid heat pumps could significantly increase your energy efficiency and are a part of the future of home heating. Here is all the information you need to know about hybrid heat pumps.
If you want a lower carbon footprint heating system or to lower your energy costs but a standard heat pump installation isn’t right for you, you might be interested in installing a hybrid heat pump system.
Read on to learn more about hybrid heating systems in this article.
Read More: What is a Split System Heat Pump?
What is a Hybrid Heat Pump System?
You can arrange them in a heating system known as a hybrid in addition to the two heating systems already mentioned. The dual fuel system is another name for this.
When heating your home, a hybrid heat pump system combines fossil fuels and renewable energy sources. The traditional gas, oil, or LPG heating system is one component, and the heat pump (ASHP or GSHP) is the other. Due to the cooperation of two essential elements, this hybrid system maintains efficiency throughout the entire year.
A hybrid heat pump system is made to meet your heating requirements while lowering your energy consumption and utility costs. The key benefit of a hybrid system is efficiency. The system alternates between fossil and renewable fuels, selecting the one that is most effective at the moment. This guarantees consistent comfort but also means that neither technology needs to work as hard to deliver the desired performance.
The heat pump will work to keep your home warm and energy use down if the outside temperature is ideal. The heat pump will shut off and the system will switch to the conventional fossil fuel boiler once the outside air temperature falls below zero. This will produce the heat required to keep your home warm enough during the winter.
Advantages of a Hybrid Heat Pump
First and foremost, we would always recommend a single fuel Air Source Heat Pump or Ground Source Heat Pump, if possible.
If this isn’t possible for your property, there are plenty of reasons to install a hybrid heat pump system instead. The system can be used all year round to keep cool in the summer and warm your home in the fall and winter by operating as an air conditioner in reverse.
Your conventional system will take over to make up the difference and relieve the pressure if the outside conditions are too demanding for a heat pump to operate at its most effective level.
Another benefit is longevity. By the nature of a hybrid system, both your renewable system and the traditional system won’t need to work so hard. As a result, maintenance is easy, and the hybrid setup makes sure that your heating system doesn’t become worn out, ineffective, or prone to failure. Heat pumps typically last a long time. A combination of a heat pump and a traditional system will ensure that each is in better health for annual servicing.
The other key benefit of a hybrid system is the ability to save on energy bills. Your ASHP or GSHP will use a small amount of electricity to operate its duties of generating heat. However, you won’t be paying oil or gas bills to the same extent, because your traditional system isn’t working all year round.
You will use fewer fossil fuels because they are expensive. According to some estimates, homeowners can save between 30 and 50 percent annually by installing a hybrid heating system.
Disadvantages of a Hybrid Heat Pump
The first drawback is that you are still burning fossil fuels. Naturally, the goal should be to completely phase out fossil fuel energy in residential and commercial structures in the UK.
Costs are still an issue. A heat pump and a conventional system are not frequently installed together. When a traditional system is already in place, we will ordinarily install a hybrid system. It is unquestionably more expensive to install the two technologies together than it is to install a single fuel system (a heat pump or a boiler by itself).
However, your hybrid system will help you become more efficient and lower utility bills in the long term. Depending on the season and most effective system, you gain from the advantages of both traditional and renewable energy sources. However, the upfront costs are significant.
Consider your projected length of occupancy while keeping the additional installation costs in mind. Although a hybrid system will undoubtedly increase the value of your house when it comes time to sell, the payback will be a longer-term benefit. A hybrid heating system investment might not be the best choice if you’re only staying for a short time.
How Does a Hybrid Heat Pump Work?
A hybrid heat pump will switch between the two various heat sources in accordance with preset settings.
You could decide to have your boiler provide the hot water while your heat pump handles the space heating, for instance. Or the boiler could be set up to cover both the space heating and hot water demand, and the heat pump could be used when the efficiency is higher (and it is cheaper) — it can then be changed over to the boiler when the outside temperature drops.
How Much Does a Hybrid Heating System Cost?
The cost of installing a new boiler in the UK can be anything between £500 to £2500. You would be looking at the top end of that scale for quality and if your property is reasonably large.
Between £7,500 and £15,000, installation included is the approximate cost of a hybrid domestic heating boiler and its air source heat pump. Installing and integrating a hybrid system with a ground source heat pump costs between £10,000.00 and £120,000.00.
Read More: How Much Does a Heat Pump System Cost?
Running Costs for Hybrid Heat Pumps
Ultimately, there are many variables with hybrid heat pumps, due to the heat pump market consisting of air source and ground source heat pumps, and the various existing heating fuels such as natural gas, LPG (tank gas), oil or biomass (including logs, wood pellets or wood chips).
A hybrid heat pump system must be created to take into account all of the variables and be able to change automatically as the specifics change. Each of these fuels will have a different cost for various homes.
The flexibility of a controller’s trigger information is crucial for a successful hybrid heat pump setup. The ability to input fuel costs, CO2 emissions from fuel, and equipment efficiency at various operating temperatures are ideal. The controller will then decide which system is best based on whether you have prioritized running costs or emissions.
Many of these parameters are set up when the system is commissioned but there are some, such as the cost of electricity and the cost of oil or gas, that the homeowner may need to change as the prices fluctuate.
Many heat pumps are currently not financially viable when compared to the operating costs of natural gas (and occasionally even heating oil), and as a result, they won’t be financially viable when compared to only covering part of the heat load.
How Efficient Are Hybrid Heat Pumps and Are They Worth It?
Because it chooses a different fuel as and when the efficiency or heat demand changes, a hybrid heat pump system can help your home become more energy efficient.
Hybrid heat pumps are a good option to take into account if you’re debating whether to replace your boiler with an air-source heat pump or something similar.
Although new high-temperature heat pumps offer the best of both worlds, heat pumps are typically more effective in the summer and a boiler is better at managing very low temperatures.
“Hybrids could reduce gas usage by up to 70% and have been proven to be effective by our parent group BDR Thermea in the Netherlands,” says Karen Boswell, managing director of Baxi(opens in new tab).
“Given that there are two different heating sources with significantly different heating efficiencies, the overall efficiency can vary depending upon the installation and setup of the controls,” advises Mitsubishi Electric’s (opens in new tab) manager of product marketing and communications for heating.
“The overall efficiency would be close to 260% if you assume that the fossil fuel boiler operates for the remaining 80% of the time, has an efficiency of 90%, and the heat pump operates for the remaining 30% of the time.”
Conclusion: Install a Hybrid Heat Pump System
Hybrid heat pumps, often referred to as bivalent heat pumps, essentially comprise a heat pump and another heat source (such as a boiler) that are combined into one system.
A hybrid heating system will offer better energy efficiency than traditional gas, oil, or LPG, and ultimately help you reduce your carbon footprint if switching from a purely fossil-fuel-burning system. Although heat pumps are effective all year and can support your heating and hot water during the colder months, these are the times when they are least effective.
Are Hybrid Heat Pumps Any Good?
Because a hybrid heat pump system chooses a different fuel as and when the efficiency or heat demand changes, it can help your home become more energy efficient. If you’re mulling over the question ‘Should I swap my boiler for an air source heat pump’ or similar, hybrid heat pumps are a viable consideration.
How Does Hybrid Heating System Work?
A hybrid heat pump is a heating system that combines an air-source heat pump with a gas or oil boiler. The oil or gas boiler is used to ‘top-up’ a low-temperature heat pump to meet the heating demands of the property where the heat pump cannot do it alone.