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If you’re a homeowner searching for a replacement heating system that’s both affordable and efficient, then a hybrid heating system may be perfect for your needs. A hybrid heating system contains both a heat pump and a gas furnace.

A heat pump’s job during the winter is to extract heat from outdoor air and push it through your living space. This is great for days that aren’t extremely cold. However, these devices fall short in the dead of winter when the temperatures outside plummet.

That’s where a hybrid heating system, which contains both a heat pump and a backup gas furnace, comes in handy. The gas furnace portion of the unit acts as a secondary heat source when the temperature outside drops below what the heat pump can effectively use to keep your home warm and cozy. A hybrid heating system is programmable, and you will be able to set a specific temperature for the furnace so that it knows when to switch on if the inside of your home gets too chilly.

Multipurpose and incredibly energy-efficient

SEER

Hybrid heating systems are known for being quite efficient since the heat pump portion of the unit works by transferring heat vs. using a fuel source. The heat pump in the unit has a high SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio), a rating that measures how efficiently a device cools a home. Wait — did we say cools a home? Aren’t we talking about ways to keep your home warm? Yes and yes. A heat pump is multipurpose in that it can also be used as an air conditioner during the cooling season, so it has a SEER rating. While they extract warm air from the atmosphere outside during the heating season to push indoors, during the cooling season, they use refrigerant to extract warm air from inside your home and push it outdoors.

The minimum SEER standard for air conditioners is 13, so anything above that is energy-efficient when it comes to cooling a home during the summer. This is something you will want to make note of as it will come in handy when doing your research on a replacement HVAC system for your family’s home.

AFUE

While the heat pump portion of the hybrid heating system is known for having a decent SEER, how efficient is the furnace part of the unit? AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency, and the minimum AFUE of a new furnace is 78%. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient a unit is at warming your home. Most hybrid heating systems have an exceptional AFUE.

How much does a hybrid heating system cost?

The cost of your heating system will vary depending on what brand, make and model you choose, as well as its SEER and AFUE ratings. The higher these numbers/percentages, the more you’re going to pay. However, this type of purchase should be considered an investment for your home. While you may be paying more upfront for a hybrid system when compared with a standard replacement furnace, you could notice a cost savings in the long run on your monthly energy bills.

How do I maintain a hybrid heating system?

These units will need an annual tune-up just as a regular air conditioner and furnace would require. It’s important to keep up with this yearly maintenance, as it not only keeps your unit running efficiently but can also result in potential problems getting caught and addressed before they become bigger (and more expensive) issues. Also, the heating and cooling technician performing the tune-up will be sure things are working as efficiently as possible so your family can be safe and comfortable.

What are the other benefits to a hybrid heating system?

These systems are also known for running more quietly than standard furnaces. That’s welcome news if you’re a light sleeper and are woken on winter nights when you hear your furnace cycling on.

Additionally, there may be tax rebates you can receive after purchasing and installing a hybrid heating system. Check with the manufacturer of the unit and your local utility company to see what may be available for you.