A hybrid heat pump allows you to save money by combining a heat pump and a condensing boiler. It is ideal if you want to install a new heating system when renovating your home. In addition, it allows you to heat your home in a more sustainable way.
How does a hybrid heat pump (HHP) work? How much does it cost? And what are its advantages? Find out in this article.
What is a hybrid heat pump?
A hybrid heat pump combines an air-to-water heat pump and a gas condensing boiler. In this hybrid system, the heat pump and boiler work together to heat the house and domestic hot water. When temperatures get too cold, the boiler takes over from the heat pump, for optimum efficiency and comfort.
Why opt for a hybrid heat pump?
The hybrid heat pump is fascinating when renovating your house if it is moderately insulated and you do not yet wish to switch to a standard heat pump. The hybrid heat pump allows you to heat your home in a more environmentally friendly way and is a good solution to reduce your gas consumption but still benefit from it in winter.
How a hybrid heat pump works
The hybrid heat pump is nothing other than an air-to-water heat pump combined with a condensing boiler. The heat pump extracts heat from the air and uses it to heat water for heating and sanitary purposes. If the heat pump cannot provide enough heat or hot water, the boiler takes over.
This is how water is heated through a hybrid heat pump:
- Heat exchanger
- The heat exchanger extracts heat from the outside air. This heat is transferred to a cooling liquid inside the exchanger. The temperature of this liquid rises and turns into vapor (gas).
- A compressor powered by an electric motor then compresses this gas under high pressure to raise its temperature to 90°.
- In the condenser, this hot gas releases some of its heat and transmits it to the heating circuits to heat domestic water and the house. The gas then condenses, becomes liquid again, and starts the cycle again.
- Condensing boiler
- Sometimes the heat pump cannot extract enough heat from the air. This is particularly the case in winter when temperatures become cooler. In this case, the boiler takes over to produce heat and domestic hot water.
The cost of a hybrid heat pump
A hybrid heat pump costs on average between $5,000 and $7,000 (including VAT and installation). This is much cheaper than a ground source heat pump, which easily costs $20,000 to $40,000.
The low price of a hybrid heat pump is due, on the one hand, to the fact that the installation does not require earthworks and excavation and, on the other hand, to the fact that it can be connected to an existing heating system.
Advantages and disadvantages
A hybrid heat pump offers many advantages. Although there are disadvantages, they are minimal. Here is an overview of the advantages and disadvantages:
The Advantages of a Hybrid Heat Pump
Affordable: A hybrid heat pump is one of the cheapest types of heat pumps. If you want to keep your heating investment affordable, the hybrid system is an excellent choice.
It’s easy to install: installing a hybrid heat pump does not require any earthworks or excavation.
Compatible with your existing heating system: a hybrid heat pump can be connected to your existing heating system. You can also continue to use your existing radiators.
Suitable for almost all homes: Especially for existing homes, a hybrid heat pump is an attractive alternative to conventional heating systems. It also achieves good efficiency in houses with average insulation.
Intelligent programming: thanks to a control unit and an intelligent thermostat, the hybrid heat pump itself determines the most economical/ecological heating strategy and then uses the most appropriate energy source (electricity via the heat pump or gas via the boiler).
Heating and domestic hot water: some types of hybrid heat pumps heat both your home and your domestic hot water.
Cost-effective: on average, the hybrid heat pump gives you a return on investment of 7 to 15 years.
Disadvantages of a hybrid heat pump
Noise from the outdoor unit: in order not to be disturbed too much by the noise from the outdoor unit, it is important to think about the location of this unit beforehand, in order to limit noise pollution as much as possible.
Regular maintenance: The hybrid heat pump requires regular maintenance to ensure that it functions properly.