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January 26, 2015

Hybrid Heating System For Your Delaware Home

An ideal home heating and cooling system would provide ample heat for cold winter nights and plenty of cool, dehumidified air all summer. Unfortunately, with traditional heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, you have to install both a heat source and a cooling source to share ductwork. When you choose a hybrid heating system, however, you increase efficiency, save money, and save energy.

Hybrid Heating System

For optimal energy efficiency, your home should be heated with fuel that returns the most heat for the lowest cost. For cooling, air-source heat pumps (ASHP) or geothermal heat pumps (GHP) are the most efficient. Hybrid systems take the best of both worlds and combine them in a system that operates year-round at peak efficiency.

Balance Point

ASHPs and GHPs operate well within specific temperature ranges. For cooling efficiency, they equal or beat electrically powered central air conditioners. They use the air or another source, such as water or the ground, to radiate heat out of your home and provide cool air. They are also wonderfully efficient at dehumidifying your home’s air.

For heating, ASHPs and GHPs need  help in cold climates. Many users complain that the heat from ASHPs or GHPs is not as warm as from a furnace, though the heat is completely uniform within the home (no cold spots).

The ability of ASHPs and GHPs to provide energy efficient heating is determined by a balance point—below certain temperatures for your climate, the devices are not energy efficient.

Hot Stuff

A hybrid heating system backs up your home’s ASHP or GHP with a furnace:

  • natural gas-fired variable speed
  • oil-fired high efficiency
  • liquid propane-fired condensing gas
  • electric

Working with your HVAC contractor, you determine the set point when your furnace will engage. The ASHP or GHP shuts down automatically to allow the more efficient furnace to heat your home.

Your Biggest Fan

A worthwhile accessory when installing a hybrid system is a dual fan to circulate warm air, increasing energy efficiency. When mild temperatures prevail, a lower fan speed gently moves heated air. At colder temperatures, a higher speed in the air handler gets warm air to all rooms faster.

Best of Both

By choosing a hybrid heating system, you increase energy efficiency and slash your annual energy costs. You gain the best of both methods of heating and cooling, and savings accrue for the life of your hybrid heating system.

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