Install a Hybrid Heat Pump System and Increase Your Home's Energy Efficiency

Deane Biermeier
Written by Deane Biermeier
Updated May 3, 2022
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  • A hybrid system installation costs $2,500–$10,000.

  • A hybrid heat pump system consists of a furnace and a heat pump.

  • Hybrid HVAC systems save energy and monthly costs.

  • Hybrid heat pumps save more money in colder climates.

  • Installation costs vary based on the size of the system and installation needs.

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Hybrid technology is all the rage. With its fancy lingo and green features, the hybrid revolution has even infiltrated the HVAC industry. Also known as dual fuel heating, hybrid heat pumps take the best features of a traditional heat pump and a furnace to give you the most energy-efficient, money-saving home heating solution. Keep reading to learn if one of these units is suitable for your home.

What Is a Hybrid Heat Pump System?

Hybrid technology is all the rage. With its fancy lingo and green features
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A hybrid heat pump system combines a traditional furnace with heat pump technology. The heat pump element provides electric-powered cooling, like a standard air conditioner, and limited heating when temperatures are mild. The gas-fired furnace kicks in, and the heat pump turns off when the temperature drops below freezing. These systems are also called dual-fuel hybrid HVAC systems for that reason.  

What’s a Heat Pump?

Air source, geothermal, and water source are names given to the three main types of heat pumps. The most common ones for residential HVAC are air source heat pumps, which take the heat out of the house in the summertime and dump it outside. The same device then takes heat from outside the home and pumps it indoors during the winter.

How Hybrid Heat Pump Systems Increase Energy Efficiency

Stand-alone heat pumps are popular in mild-climate locations where temperatures rarely dip below freezing, and gas-fired furnaces are seldom needed. According to HomeAdvisor, heat pumps can lower energy bills by up to 50% over traditional air conditioners in warmer climate areas under certain conditions. 

Hybrid heat pump systems have the greatest every-saving effects in colder climate areas. During spring, autumn, and warm spells in winter, the heat pump provides less-expensive heating by transferring what little heat is in the outdoor air to the indoors—meaning the expensive fossil-fuel-fired furnace only needs to operate during frigid weather. 

The energy savings realized in colder locations by using a hybrid heat pump system over a traditional combination of a furnace and central air conditioning depends on average temperatures in your area. 

If you experience super hot summers and below-freezing winters, you’d likely see significant benefits using a dual fuel heat pump. 

Do Hybrid Heat Pump Systems Work With Hydronic Heating?

Technically speaking, yes, you could build a hybrid system with radiant heat. However, using an air-source heat pump with a radiant heat system isn’t recommended for energy efficiency. 

Geothermal heat pump systems best serve radiant heating. Dual-fuel hybrid heat pump systems come as packages that include a heat pump and a forced-air furnace.

Cost To Install a Hybrid Heat Pump System

Energy efficient heat pump
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Installing a hybrid heat pump system costs between $2,500 and $10,000. Costs vary due to the difficulty of installing the components and the size of the home. A qualified, local heat pump installer can help determine what size heat pump and furnace your home requires. 

Can I Use My Existing Furnace In a Hybrid System?

In many cases, an existing high-efficiency furnace can be used in conjunction with a hybrid heat pump to create a dual-fuel system without replacing the furnace. The cost to install a heat pump to work alongside an existing furnace ranges from $2,500 to $6,000

Is Installing a Hybrid Heat Pump System Worth the Money?

If you live in an area of the country that experiences hot summers and freezing winters, you can recover the cost of installing a hybrid heat pump system in your home in as little as five years through energy cost savings. In these areas, energy cost savings and reducing your carbon footprint may make installing a hybrid system worth the money for you. 

However, places where the temperature rarely gets below freezing will not likely see enough savings to justify installing a whole hybrid system and will experience more benefits from a stand-alone heat pump installation. 

If you find yourself on the fence over the decision, your local heating and cooling professional can offer suggestions specific to your home and situation. 

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