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How Does a Hybrid Heat Pump System Work?

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FAQImagine 2 soldiers. One is young; the other is old. The young soldier has better aim than the old soldier most of the time. But when the battle gets tough, the younger soldier cracks under pressure and his aim worsens.

But the old soldier, because of his experience, keeps a consistent aim no matter how tough the battle gets. 

Together, the young and old soldier make the perfect team because their strengths complement each other.

This is how a heat pump (the young soldier) and a furnace (the old soldier) complement each other in a hybrid heat pump system.

We’ll explain in more detail how these 2 systems work together to keep your New Jersey energy bills low.

Heat pump—heats your home more efficiently (to a point)

A heat pump is an air conditioner that can also work in reverse to heat your home. It heats your home by pulling heat out of the air outside and transferring it into the air in your home. It heats a home more efficiently than a gas furnace—to a point.

Like how the young soldier cracks under pressure, the heat pump also stops heating efficiently when it’s too cold outside. At 38°F the heat pump uses a less-efficient panel of electric resistance coils, like the ones in your toaster, to provide backup heat.

So in New Jersey’s cold winters, a heat pump alone isn’t an energy efficient heating choice.

But that’s why heat pumps are paired with furnaces in New Jersey—to get the best of both worlds.

Gas furnace—the consistent old soldier

A gas furnace heats your home at a consistent efficiency regardless of the outdoor temperature. (Just like the old soldier keeps a consistent shot regardless of the battle conditions.)

So a hybrid heat pump system uses the heat pump to heat your home until outdoor temperatures reach 38°F. Then, the furnace turns on, working as the backup heat instead of inefficient electric coils.

In other words, the old soldier takes over when the young soldier cracks under pressure. The two heating systems work more efficiently together than if you had either of them separately.

How do these 2 systems fit together?

The heat pump takes the place of an air conditioner. So it has an outside and inside unit with refrigerant tubes connecting them. The inside unit is paired together with the furnace, just like a regular air conditioner would be.

To learn more about hybrid heat pump systems, ask our experts for help.