Hybrid Heat Pump System

What is a Hybrid Heat Pump System?

A hybrid heat system reacts to changes in temperature and switches automatically to the most effective energy-saving available option for cooling or heating a house. It is an effective alternative to traditional heating and cooling systems, saving fuel by combining a heat pump with a furnace, rather than an air conditioning system.

For a furnace, offering superior comfort means attaining the correct airflow levels. This is valid for service in both cooling and heating. Like traditional single-speed engines, a variable speed engine operates at a wide range of speeds.

Utilising sophisticated instruments, it continuously monitors incoming information from your cooling and heating system and makes the necessary adjustments so as to meet your required levels of comfort automatically. It ensures that the amount of air circulated is varied, by increasing speed and compensating for factors such as dirty filters. Simply put, it offers only the appropriate volume of air for the perfect level of comfort in cooling and heating.

A speed control motor steadily ramps up to full speed, as an added bonus. This removes the unexpected, disruptive air blast associated with standard furnace engines. In addition, this helps the air conditioning unit to eliminate more moisture during the cooling process.

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Hybrid Heating Pump System vs Conventional Heating System

A hybrid heating system integrates an electric heat pump with a gas furnace. It offers excellent year-round comfort and, during mild heating, conditions are such that they are the most energy-efficient. Although traditional heating alternatives prefer one or the other, the balance between efficiency and comfort is what a hybrid heating pump system aims to attain.

A gas furnace works, as you probably know, by drawing energy from natural gas and transforming it into hot air to be distributed through ducts throughout your home. Depending on the season, a heat pump does not heat air, so much as it transfers heat outdoors or indoors. Its mechanism is closely related to that of an air conditioner, even though it does not appear to cool as well as an air conditioner in its own right. An air conditioner just cools down, while a heat pump can work all year long.

The aim of the hybrid heat pump is to react to changes in external temperatures automatically and to adapt accordingly to the most energy-efficient heating option. That device’s strength is in its flexibility. The system senses the necessary adjustment on those extremely cold days and activates the gas furnace to produce extra heat. Through the diffusion of a refrigerant, your heat pump transfers the heat inside the house on mild days. The best part about this system is that in the summer, a hybrid heat pump also provides cooling. As an integrated solution, your hybrid heating system will actually work for you throughout the year, ensuring savings in energy and costs throughout the year. You also are lowering the dependency on fossil fuels, which makes the hybrid heating system much more environmentally friendly than traditional furnace-based systems.

They provide very effective control over room temperature when installed to the right specifications and in the correct manner, are very quick to heat or cool a space, and then maintain the desired temperature. This will not only keep you cool or warm based on your personal preference but it will also work as a dehumidifier. That makes a heat pump HVAC an effective alternative to an air conditioner.

For more information or to arrange a consultation on hybrid heating systems in the UK, call The Mittens Heat Pumps UK today on 01273257407!

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Types of Hybrid Heating Systems

Two types of heat pumps that can be incorporated into a hybrid heating system include the air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps.

Generally, hybrid heating systems are equipped with an air source heat pump because they do not require as much outdoor space, are easier to install and are less expensive.

Air Source Heat Pumps

An air source heat pump is a motor unit that is mounted outside of your home, collecting heat from outside air, even at extremely low temperatures such as -15 degree Celsius. Using this heat, you heat water for the central heating system and taps become heated.

The RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) is available for hybrid heating systems with an air-to-water heat pump or a ground source heat pump. This is a scheme developed by the UK Government to encourage homeowners and developers of properties to opt for heating systems that are renewable. Owners of properties with energy systems that are renewable such as hybrid systems, solar thermal systems, biomass boilers, and heat pumps, earn quarterly payments for the electricity they produce for a period of 7 years.

Ground Source Heat Pumps

A heat pump with a ground source extracts heat from the underground. The pipes are either placed vertically downwards or horizontally in loops in your backyard. The heat from these pipes passes through a fluid and the heat extracted from the ground is transferred to a heat exchanger. Your central heating system or water for your taps is heated by the heat exchanger.

Hybrid Heating Systems: Pros and Cons

Hybrid heating is believed to be one of the best home heating solutions but is hybrid heating the right heating option for your home? And is this cost-effective, even if it is? We’ve explored the benefits, disadvantages and hybrid heating costs to help homeowners understand what they need to make an informed choice.

Benefits of a Hybrid Heating System

Hybrid Heat Pumps Work with Existing Boilers

A hybrid system is essentially a heat pump that works with another source of energy such as a gas boiler, to offer a more constant source of heating at a higher efficiency level. It is a great option for people with an existing source of heat generation such as an oil boiler or a gas boiler need not change their radiators if they are installing the device. Another hybrid installation is to provide a mix of air and ground source heat pumps which work at different time periods of the day at full efficiency. So when the outside air is colder it draws heat pump energy from the ground source and when the air becomes hotter it operates in the reverse direction.

Hybrid Heat Pump Systems Last Longer as Each Part is Used Less

A lone boiler heating your home has an average life expectancy of ten to fifteen years. The boiler will not have to work as much in a hybrid system and will therefore last longer. The boiler and heat pump need to be in reasonable shape as they work as a team to make maintenance easier and the systems are less likely to need repairs.

Greater Energy Efficiency

Hybrid heating systems are a great option for the heating industry, as the government seeks to mitigate overall reliance on fossil fuels such as gas, LPG, coal, and oil. The system includes both a boiler and heat pump to provide a cost-effective and efficient heating system throughout the year.

A hybrid heating system is a smart way to improve energy efficiency in your heating systems. During the summer a heat pump is usually the most effective and a boiler is better at dealing with an extremely low temperature.

This system is also designed to oscillate between your boiler and heat pump automatically to whichever is more energy efficient in controlling the indoor temperature at any given time. Although a heat pump employs electricity for its operations, it generates around three to four times as much energy as it burns, which equates to about 400% energy efficiency.

Even a boiler with the highest efficiency levels rarely attains an efficiency of over 95%. During the winter months, standard heat pumps also fail. However, because hybrid heat pumps operate with existing boilers, this means you are gaining more energy efficiency in winter. Furthermore, according to a UK Government report, installing a hybrid heating system in your home reduces the use of natural gas by 70% or more.

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Cashback Through the RHI Scheme

If a ground source or an air-to-water heat pump is mounted in a central heating system, it is possible for you to earn money through the RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) scheme of the government. In order to encourage property owners to lower the UK carbon footprint by adopting renewable heating solutions, power companies are required to pay for the energy that your heat pump produces. Payments are made on a quarterly basis over the period of seven years and the payback you could receive is based on a tariff per kWh.

Reduced Heating Expenses

Running costs for a heat pump are low even though it uses some power to operate because it operates on cheap energy from the ground or air. You will also need to use your furnace less, so you won’t have to buy as much gas or oil from a manufacturer. Certain studies have estimated that homeowners can save up to 50% on their annual heating bills.

Reduced Carbon Footprint

The use of reduced fossil fuels will not only save you money but will benefit the environment as well. Fossil fuels emit carbon into the atmosphere and damage our earth when we burn fuels such as coal, oil, and gas. Renewable energy technologies such as heat pumps are becoming incredibly popular and cost-effective, assisting the heating industry and government’s work towards a sustainable energy future.


No matter the weather, a hybrid system is smart enough to offer you the perfect heating solution. So when the temperature falls and your heat pump has to work extra hard to generate sufficient heat for your home, the boiler sorts things out without you having to raise a finger. The boiler will cut out as it warms up again and the heat pump then resumes its work to prevent you from using excessive oil or gas. Most heat pumps, too, will work in reverse and become air conditioning units in summer months. When investing in a hybrid system, you get air conditioning, hot water, and heating in one energy-efficient solution which is automated.

Disadvantages of a Hybrid Heating System

Long Term ROI

A standard boiler replacement has a lower upfront cost than a hybrid system. You should get this money back on RHI earnings and lower energy bills over the long term, but if you’re planning on moving home in a few years, hybrid heat pumps are definitely not the best financial option. There is a possibility that a hybrid heating system might increase your home value if you choose to sell it, but this is by no means a guarantee as the technology is relatively new.

Not Entirely Renewable

This hybrid system utilises a fossil-fuelling boiler. In an ideal society, we would be heating our dwellings with solutions that are entirely renewable and eliminating the need to rely completely on fossil fuels.

It may become a potential option but there is currently no renewable solution capable of heating the typical household without relying on fossil fuels altogether.

Expensive to Install

A hybrid system has a greater upfront cost, so much so that some homeowners may find it to be impractical. The installation costs for a hybrid heating system initially can range between £5,000 and £10,000.  However, between £2,500 and £4,000 is spent on conventional boiler replacement on average.

Nevertheless, for the hybrid heating system installation, the longer-term financial benefits need to be considered, as you will likely experience a decrease in your heating bills due to your energy savings. Your hybrid heating system will also outlast a boiler, and you’ll earn money back for 7 years through the government’s RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) scheme.

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Heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular because there is a substantial decrease of around 50% on the amount of capital spent on cooling down or heating up your house.

Also, not too much electricity is consumed by heat pumps. For every KW of electricity they consume, heat pumps typically produce about five kilowatts of thermal energy. This sort of technology is also eco-sustainable and falls into the category of green energy, since it mitigates pollution equivalent to around 800 trees, giving them the ability to generate around 196,000 pounds extra oxygen annually.

Additionally, heat pumps do not need much maintenance. It is enough to give them a check-up once a year which classifies heat pumps in the category of “fit and forget.” Even if, in some cases, a hybrid heat pump system is a good solution, hybrid heat pump systems nevertheless also produce more carbon emissions than stand-alone heat pump systems.

All in all, we suggest you turn to a heat pump only. Please contact The Mittens Heat Pumps UK on 01273257407 for more information on installing heat pumps and hybrid heating systems in the UK. We provide a wide selection of hybrid heating systems and we have a team of highly trained and experienced technicians eager to help you in choosing and installing them.

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