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Are Hybrid Heat Pumps Energy Efficient?

February 18, 2015

Energy consumption in the residential sector in Florida is primarily attributed to electricity, which accounts for 90 percent of a home’s usage. This represents annual utility costs averaging nearly $2,000 per household, making efficiency a significant interest for many in the Jacksonville area. One approach to improving efficiency levels may be the installation of hybrid heat pumps to address heating needs when weather conditions aren’t conducive to electricity-based heating.

What Is Hybrid Heating?

A hybrid system involves the coordination of a heat pump with a compatible gas furnace. In Jacksonville, the pump unit will handle the majority of the heating activity during the year based on mild climate conditions. However, extremes are possible in the area as in the case of a record low of 7 degrees in January 1985. When temperatures drop into the freezing range, an air-source system can be inefficient for heating your residence, an issue that can contribute to higher energy use and poor indoor comfort results. With a hybrid system, heating activity is matched to those conditions. When temperatures drop sufficiently to render your pump system inadequate, a hybrid furnace takes over the action. This ensures that your home is comfortable regardless of outside conditions. It also allows you to minimize energy usage and related bills.

Advantages of Hybrid Heat Pumps

The primary benefit of installing a hybrid system is your access to both gas and electric heating. However, hybrid systems tend to be engineered with some of the highest efficiency levels available for residential HVAC products. With a Carrier system, for example, it is possible to achieve up to 20.5 SEER and 13 HSPF in hybrid heat pumps with Greenspeed technology. The coordinating furnaces offer 98.5 percent AFUE. These efficiency levels significantly exceed the minimum requirements of the U.S. government.

Hybrid systems also typically integrate with smart system controls, making it possible to precisely manage your home’s comfort levels while monitoring energy usage data. Such controls are important for directing heating activity, handling the transition without the need for any manual adjustments. Your hybrid system and smart controls free you to enjoy your home and live your life with fewer complications. A wireless control even provides you with the ability to make adjustments or generate reports when you aren’t at home. The most advanced options allow you to also monitor indoor air quality issues that can affect the efficiency of your system and the comfort levels for your family. You can minimize wear on your system as your controls remind you of maintenance tasks such as changing your filter or scheduling a tune-up as well.

Enhancing the Performance of Your Heat Pump

In order for your hybrid equipment to continue to pull its weight, regular preventive maintenance is a priority. Don’t ignore those filter or tune-up alerts. A dirty filter can reduce system efficiency by 15 percent, and normal system use during a heating or cooling season can reduce efficiency levels by 5 percent or more. For information about hybrid heat pumps for your Jacksonville area home, call us at Ocean State Air Conditioning. Our expert technicians are available to walk you through the various hybrid heat pump options.

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