What Is A Hybrid Heat Pump?

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Hybrid heat pump

Standard heat pumps aren’t actually suitable for every home, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on heat pumps altogether. You can still reduce the amount of carbon emissions your home produces whilst relying on fossil fuels if necessary, but with a heat pump making your heating system greener. How? With a hybrid heat pump, of course! 

Now, what is a hybrid heat pump, when is it necessary to install and how can it help you? We’ll explore all this below, so let Heat Pumps UK guide you through hybrid heat pumps and if you decide they’re right for you, compare hybrid heat pump installers with us today for the best deals local to you. 

How Heat Pumps Usually Work

Before we look at hybrid heat pumps, let’s look at how heat pumps work more generally, so you can understand how hybrid heat pumps work a little differently. 

A standard heat pump is fairly straightforward in how it operates. Using the temperature of the outside air, the heat is transferred from outdoors to indoors to heat your home. Through compressing and condensing, the heat is extracted from the air, and this is then used as a gas to heat the water in your central heating system and then warm your home. 

Here, everything is green, renewable energy, so you heat your home for a fraction of the cost of heating it using traditional fossil fuels, and with nowhere near the same level of the carbon emissions. 

What Is A Hybrid Heat Pump System?

A hybrid heat pump works slightly differently, in that the system is hybrid – meaning it uses the renewable energy of the heat from the air, much like a standard air source heat pump, but also relies on another heat source, usually a fossil fuel such as a gas or oil boiler.

Some existing boilers are compatible with hybrid heat pumps anyway, so you won’t necessarily need a new one, but many opt to replace their boiler at the same time for a completely new system with the same expected lifespan and warranties, etc. 

When Is A Hybrid Heat Pump Necessary?

There are really two main reasons why a hybrid heat pump might be necessary for your home – and they both boil down to the fact that a standard heat pump may not be the right solution for your property.

Financially An Air Source Heat Pump Doesn’t Add Up

Sometimes when you’re looking at an air source heat pump, the numbers just don’t add up, meaning you could actually end up spending more money on energy bills after the installation, which is obviously not the goal of a heat pump. In these cases, your heat pump installer may advise a hybrid heating system instead, which ought to save you money and cut down on carbon emissions.

With hybrid heat pump systems, they can be set up to automate when your home will be heated through traditional fossil fuel means, and when your heat pump will be called upon will do the heavy lifting. Things like the time of day and the cost of running each option will be taken into account, and your system will be optimised to ensure you’re getting the best deals 24/7, making your home more energy efficient, but more financially efficient too. 

Work with Heat Pumps UK and we’ll put you in touch with expert heat pump installers, who will be able to give you a breakdown of each type of heating system. If a standard heat pump system proves to be more expensive to run each month than your current gas boiler, then they’ll be able to talk you through the benefits of a hybrid system AND provide you with a cost breakdown indicating what you’ll pay each month to run it. If it’s cheaper than just your fossil fuel boiler alone, then it’s obviously worth the installation. 

You Use A Lot Of Energy

In order for standard heat pumps to be at their most efficient your home has to be well insulated to hold onto that heat effectively. If you live in an older property or your home has a high energy demand – that’s to say the amount of heat required to heat your home properly is much higher than your average household – then you might find a heat pump alone won’t cover your needs. 

A hybrid heat pump can use your current (or a newer, more efficient) boiler to better optimise the heat in your home. It might be that your existing boiler does the legwork in terms of heating your home and getting it to the desired temperature, and then your heat pump takes over and maintains the heat. Obviously, each system will work a little differently to serve your house at its best, but that’s an example of how it might work. 

Whenever your heat pump is working harder, it’ll be cheaper for you than if your boiler is working harder, but the wonderful thing about a hybrid heat pump system is that it can be fully optimised so that you’re only spending more money when you absolutely have to because your home needs it to reach your desired temperatures. 

A hybrid system can help cut costs and carbon emissions, even when you have a higher heat demand than standard homes and a heat pump alone won’t keep your house as warm as you need it to.

Benefits Of A Hybrid Heat Pump

It’s important to make it clear that a standard heat pump is the better option in almost every way. You’ll save more money, your home will be more energy efficient, and you’ll cut your carbon emissions significantly. But for when a standard heat pump isn’t appropriate, there are plenty of reasons why a hybrid heat pump installation is better than a fossil fuel boiler alone. 

Heat In Winter, Cool In Summer 

One benefit you’ll be able to enjoy when you opt for a hybrid heat pump system, that you wouldn’t be able to enjoy with a fossil fuel boiler, is that heat pumps can also cool your house, not just warm it up. Rather than extracting the heat from outdoor air and using it to warm the home, heat pumps can release that heat and release cool air into your property instead, making it more comfortable in the summer, too. 

You’ll Still Save On Energy Bills

It’s true you won’t save as much on energy bills as you would with a standard heat pump, but you’ll still save more than you would with just a fossil fuel boiler installed. This can be an attractive option for many homeowners in light of the recent energy crisis and price hikes we’ve seen throughout the UK.

Extends The Life Of Your Heating System 

It makes sense that if your heat is being provided by two different sources, those sources aren’t going to work as hard and break down as fast as they otherwise would. Because your heat pump and traditional boiler are working together, neither one will face the strain of supplying your home with its heat 24/7. Together, hybrid systems can share the load and perform much better for longer as a result.

Reduces Carbon Emissions

The carbon emissions from your home won’t ever be zero with a hybrid heat pump system because your boiler will still rely on fossil fuels and will therefore generate high carbon emissions. Still, when your heat pump is heating your home, your carbon emissions will be reduced, and that’s much better than if you relied on a traditional boiler alone to heat your home.

Hybrid Heat Pump Summary

It’s true that a standard air source or ground source heat pump would be better for your home, your bills, and the environment – but it isn’t always possible. When that’s the case, a hybrid heat pump is a much better option than relying on fossil fuels alone to heat your home and potentially provide hot water. 

If you want to find out if a hybrid heat pump system is right for your home, then compare heat pump installers and deals with Heat Pumps UK today. If you prefer, one of our installers can visit your property and discuss your requirements to see if a standard heat pump or hybrid heat pump system works best for you. 

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Ollie Creevy
Ollie has been writing content online about home improvements for over 3 years. With a real interest and in-depth knowledge of heat pumps and ECO home improvement measures you can use to save on your energy bills. Ollie also keeps up to date with all the Government grants available for you to take advantage of like ECO4 and the Boiler Upgrade Scheme.