There has been an increased interest in hybrid heating systems as consumers seek alternative heating sources that are also cost-effective. But what exactly is a hybrid heating system and why are they so popular in Minneapolis, MN? Here’s the breakdown from the heating and air conditioning experts at Total Comfort.
What is a Hybrid Heating System?
A traditional heat pump split system consists of an outdoor condensing unit and an indoor air handler. The condensing unit provides cooling in the spring and summer months and heat in the colder months. The air handler does not produce heat, but some units come installed with electric heat coils that are used for auxiliary heat.
A hybrid heating system uses a gas furnace in place of an air handler. Hybrid systems are also referred to as dual fuel systems, because the customer can choose between installing a gas furnace or a heat pump. The heat pump runs on electricity while the furnace runs on propane or natural gases. As temperatures rise, your heat pump can reverse itself and provide cold air in the spring and summer months. It is a very versatile system.
Why is Hybrid Heating so Popular?
- It’s cost effective. Gas furnaces are very affordable to buy and install. You take care of a hybrid system like you would a traditional HVAC system. Change filters on a regular basis and have your system inspected yearly to ensure it is running at its best. The cost of regular preventative maintenance is nothing compared to the long-term savings on your monthly energy bills.
- It gives you control over your monthly bills. Advancements in temperature regulation technology allow for the seamless integration of all the components of a hybrid heating system. Ideally, you want to use the heat pump as little as possible. Since it relies on electricity, it can drive your power bill up with prolonged use. Some cities have increased rates for electricity use during peak usage times. You can program your thermostat to switch between the heat pump and the gas furnace to minimize your electricity use. Automated thermostat controls for your system means that you don’t have to get up in the middle of the night to adjust the temperature.
- It is reliable. It is not uncommon for condenser units to seize up when temperatures drop and snow piles up around the unit. A hybrid heating system that utilizes a gas furnace will ensure that you and your family won’t wake up freezing in the middle of the Minnesota winter. A heat exchanger can be added to the heat pump to heat your water supplies more efficiently. That means no more waiting for your morning shower water to warm up.
- It is customized to your energy needs. With a hybrid heating system, customers have a choice between a heat pump or a gas furnace installation in MN homes. Depending on where you live, natural gas may be less expensive or more expensive than a heat pump. Some household heating needs are just too high to warrant the use of a heat pump on a regular basis. This is where installing a gas furnace has the advantage.
- It’s comfortable. Hybrid heating provides a blanket heat throughout your home. It cuts down on drafts and cold spots by evenly distributing heat throughout rooms without the noise and strain of traditional heating systems.