There can be a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to any kind of home product or whole-home system. In specific to heat pumps, a common piece of misinformation is that a heat pump won’t work during the winter; this isn’t true. It is true that there can concerns about a heat pump working as it should during very cold weather – those days that are under 32 degrees – but it isn’t true that a heat pump can’t work at all. Additionally, with a hybrid heating system, you can avoid any heating capability issues with your heat pump and very cold weather. First, let’s take a look at why there’s concern around heat pumps during the winter.
It’s Chilly Out There
Air-source heat pumps provide heating by absorbing the available heat in the air, concentrating it and blowing the warm air into your home. As the temperature outside falls, the available heat in the air decreases; this can force your heat pump to work harder, making it less energy efficient and more challenged to meet your heating needs. A great solution to this is the hybrid heating system.
What Is a Hybrid Heating System?
With a hybrid heating system, you get the best of both worlds: a heat pump as the main source of heating (and cooling) your home with a back-up gas furnace. This allows you to have a secondary system to heat your home when the outside air temperature falls below 32 degrees.
How Does a Hybrid System Work?
With a hybrid system, your heat pump is furnished with an outdoor temperature sensor that works in conjunction with a dual-fuel thermostat. A set-point temperature is programmed into the sensor that tells your heating system when to switch from the heat pump to the gas furnace for heating; typically this temperature is a few degrees above the freezing mark. When the outside temperature reaches the set-point temperature, the heating system automatically switches from using the heat pump to heat your home to the back-up gas furnace. There is also a set-point temperature at which the gas furnace will switch back to the heat pump.
Benefits of a Hybrid System
With a hybrid system, you get the benefit of using a heat pump as your main source of heating and cooling. This gives you great energy efficiency, the longer lifespan of a heat pump and the gentle heating and cooling of a heat pump. The back-up heating of the system means you’ll never be cold, even on the chilliest of days.