A few decades ago, most homes were heated with a gas or oil furnace. Air conditioning was either central or via wall units. Heat pumps started becoming popular since they combine both heating and cooling functions. However, heat pumps struggle when the temperatures get to freezing or below. If you’re looking for a high efficiency way to cool and heat your home, hybrid systems may be the way to go.

How Did the Need for Hybrid Systems Arise?

Heat pumps work because of differences in temperature. To heat your home, the heat pump will drop the refrigerant temperature in the outside unit to well below freezing. If the outside temperatures are at freezing or above, the heat pump uses the differences in temperature to heat the refrigerant and then sends that captured heat into the house.

The problem arises when temperatures are below freezing and dropping. It becomes more and more difficult for the heat pump to extract heat from the cold outside air. To supplement the heat inside the home, the heat pump will turn on the auxiliary heating coils which run off of electricity. This helps warm up the house, but it uses a lot of electricity, driving up your energy bills.

Fuel burning furnaces, on the other hand, heat homes quite well when the weather gets really cold. But, these furnaces are not nearly as efficient when it comes to heating during moderate temperature spells.

How Does a Hybrid System Work?

Hybrid HVAC systems include both a high efficiency heat pump and a high efficiency furnace. When temperatures are at freezing and above, the system uses the heat pump exclusively. However, when the temperatures start getting colder, the system will switch over to use the fuel-burning furnace. This combination helps maximize heating efficiency, reduces electrical costs and keeps your home comfortable year round.

Learn more about hybrid systems and the options available with Pruett Air Conditioning. Contact us at 478-225-4921 for more information about your home’s needs or to schedule an appointment!

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