What are hybrid heat pumps and how do they work?

Hybrid heat pump trial

Hybrid heat pumps combine an air source heat pump and a standard boiler and are a clever way to heat your home. They’re an alternative to traditional boilers that are greener and can also be more cost-effective.

If your home’s suitable for a heat pump installation, it can make a big difference in reducing your monthly energy bill and your home’s CO2 emissions. So, let’s demystify heat pumps and help you make an informed decision as to whether they’re right for you.  

What is a hybrid heat pump?  

By using the same clever technology found in your fridge freezer but in reverse, an electric-powered heat pump transfers the ambient temperature of the outside air, ground or water into your home to create renewable heating. The science has been around a long time and was even described by Lord Kelvin back in 1852.

In a hybrid heat pump, the air source heat pump element will take the heat from the outside air and distribute it indoors for your heating and hot water. The other component is your standard boiler and the system will switch between the two depending on which is the most efficient.

How do heat pumps work?

Heat pumps contain a fluid, and absorb heat from the air outside into it. That fluid is then condensed into a gas vapor and used to warm your home, like a refrigerator in reverse.

If the air is too cold for this to happen (usually when it’s below freezing), your hybrid heat pump takes a back seat while your traditional boiler kicks in, using gas to heat your home. 

Hybrid heat pumps can help reduce emissions.

Pros and cons of heat pumps

Good bits:

  • Can heat your home more cost efficiently than a hot water boiler system, so it may reduce your monthly energy bill
  • Much better for the environment, cutting down your home’s CO2 emissions and improving air quality
  • Receive quarterly payments through the Renewable Heating Incentive
  • Some models can be used with solar panels for a more self-sufficient system

Challenges:

  • Some properties won’t have the right space, access or surroundings for a heat pump installation
  • To get the best efficiency from heat pumps, it’s best if your home has good insulation to keep the warm air inside for longer
  • Most homes will need bigger central heating pipes installed to increase the flow rate around the system.
  • Bigger radiators may also be needed to combat heat loss at lower temperatures

Renewable Heating Incentive

To incentivise more homes to choose renewable heating, the government has created a scheme that includes hybrid heat pumps. And if you meet the criteria , you’ll receive quarterly payments based on how much renewable heat your system produces – you just need to make sure you apply by March 2022.

Our West Midlands Trial

If you’re in the West Midland area, we’re currently offering significantly reduced prices on our hybrid heat pumps as part of a trial.

It’s significantly more efficient than a gas boiler alone and can save you money on your monthly bills. In the trial we’ll gather data for a period of time after we’ve installed your hybrid heat pump, so we can see how much it’s reducing your CO2 emissions.

Interested to find out more? Get in touch here

So are heat pumps right for you?  

There are a few things to think about when it comes to considering heat pumps. Is your current heating system past its best? Do you have the exterior space alongside your home that can easily fit a heat pump unit? (Up to H: 1,565mm W: 1,100mm D: 450mm plus clearance around the pump.) And is your home properly insulated to make the most of the heat pump – or is that something you’d consider? If the answer is yes to these, a heat pump could be a more efficient, low-carbon heating choice for your home.

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