There can be a certain amount of confusion when it comes to heat pumps and hybrid heating systems. Sometimes, it feels like the two terms are completely interchangeable, which isn’t exactly the case. A heat pump is a part of a hybrid system, but it can exist as a stand-alone system as well. Hybrid heating systems are more common in the Hartford area than heat pumps alone, for many different reasons.
When is a hybrid system a better choice than a standard heat pump?
Stand-alone heat pumps operate according to the same principles as air conditioning systems: circulating refrigerant through a series of coils to heat and cool the air. The cycle starts when the refrigerant moves into a compressor, which subjects it to a great deal of pressure. It then moves into a condenser coil, which dissipates the heat off into the surrounding air and reverts it to a liquid state. The liquid refrigerant moves from there into an expansion valve, which releases a set amount of it into the evaporator coil. The liquid evaporates back into a gas, which absorbs heat from the surrounding air. The gas then moves back to the beginning of the loop to start the process anew.
That results both in warm air (from the condenser coil) and cool air (from the evaporator coil), which can then be blown into your home. Heat pumps contain an indoor coil and an outdoor coil, whose functions can be switched depending on the need. In the summer, the indoor coil serves as the evaporator and in the winter, it serves as the condenser: delivering either hot or cold air (depending on what you need), which can then be blown into your home via a fan.
Because heat pumps don’t actually generate heat – they merely transfer it – it makes heat pumps much more effective than some other forms of heating. They cost much less to operate and can save you a great deal of money in monthly costs. With one exception. Heat pumps struggle when the temperature drops below 40 degrees, which is often here in Connecticut. That’s when a hybrid system becomes more desirable: adding a furnace into the system to help the heat pump make up the difference. The furnace will only switch on when needed, which means you will still use only the heat pump during the more mild winter days.
If you need more advice on when a hybrid system is a better choice than a standard heat pump, or to make concrete plans for heating in Hartford, call Dynamic Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning to help. We’re ready to use our knowledge and experience to provide the best heating and cooling solutions for your situation!