What is a Hybrid Heat Pump
Hybrid heat pump or hybrid air source heat pump is a system that reacts and adjusts according to temperatures. This is by far, the most efficient energy saving method available to heat or cool a home. It can be a fuel-saving alternative to traditional heating and cooling systems in that it combines a furnace with a heat pump, rather than an air conditioner.
A hybrid heat pump normally consists of an outdoor air source heat pump connected to an indoor coil or air handler. The indoor unit could be a gas furnace, oil furnace, electric furnace or an air handler. An outdoor heat pump, connected to an air handler containing electric strip heaters downstream of the indoor coil, is known as an all-electric hybrid system.
What is the point of a Hybrid Heat Pump System?
The point of a hybrid heat pump system is to reduce operating costs while maintaining year-round comfort conditions. The industry is evolving and so is the hybrid technology. For example, the Unico System small duct high velocity heat pumps feature inverter drive outdoor units connected to specialised air handlers with electric auxiliary heat or even a hot water coil. Geothermal heat pumps with electric heat prove that air-to-air heat pumps are not the only hybrid option on the market.
Declining heat output in Canada’s cold climate has always plagued hybrid heat pumps. Better compressors, improved outdoor and indoor coils, TXV or EEV refrigerant metering, system matching and more sophisticated controls (especially defrost control) have contributed greatly to improving the performance and reliability of hybrids, but most significantly advances have been made lately.
How does a Hybrid Heat Pump work?
Use your dual-fuel thermostat or control to decide when to shift from heat pump heating to all electric operation mode. Conventional air source heat pumps suffer from declining heating capacity as the outdoor temperature plummets, thus two models of operation for add-on hybrids have traditional been available. First one is a non-restricted mode and the second one is the restricted mode. Restricted mode is probably the best mode for cold climates. Using an outdoor temperature sensor, the installer sets an outdoor temperature lockout point so that compressor is disabled below that point. Only auxiliary heat functions below lockout. For example; your installed sets the lockout at 40F. If outside temperatures goes below that of the settings your outside unit stops operating and auxiliary heating kicks in to warm up the house.
How does a Hybrid Heat Pump save energy?
By using an air source heat pump could help to keep operating costs lower. Sizing the unit into an appropriate duct system, finding a proper location of the outdoor unit, and understanding how the auxiliary system operates, to say the least. Balance point is an effective means of determining lockout temperatures in any given application. In order to determine a balance point temperature, the heating professional must perform a shell heat loss calculation and have the manufacturer applied heating performance data for the AHRI rated hybrid system on-hand to be applied in any particular application.
What is the alternative choice to conventional heat pump system?
Introducing cold climate ductless heat pumps using dense vapour injected compressor has changed everything. The best units can maintain 100 percent heating output down to -4F. As a homeowner where you have no access to natural gas a ductless heat pump system would provide heating, and cost savings over straight electrical, or even propane and oil heat. The cold climate unit, in true hybrid fashion, can signal a baseboard heater to operate as needed. Mitsubishi Electric, Panasonic, Haier, Samsung and a host of other manufacturer’s have cold climate hybrids on the market. Better yet, is the hyper heat pump technology provides excellent performance at outdoor temperatures as low as -13F (-25C).
Then there are geothermal hybrid systems with an advantage over air source heat pumps because there is nothing outside to worry about. Geothermal heat pumps produce constant amount of heat at or near full capacity regardless of outdoor temperatures.
The future of Hybrid Heat Pumps!
The market still needs hybrid heat pumps, especially geothermal and cold climate models. When better-insulated residential housing becomes the norm, a small hybrid with maybe a baseboard or two for backup will be the new normal in residential housing. Specially the cold climate heat pumps also called hyper heat pumps will be a popular choice more than ever. It has been a long time coming.