What Are Hybrid Air Source Heat Pumps

May 10, 2023 | News

Hybrid Air Source Heat Pumps: How They Work

Hybrid air source heat pumps are gaining popularity as a greener alternative to traditional boilers. In this detailed guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about these innovative heating systems.

How Hybrid Air Source Heat Pumps Work

A hybrid air source heat pump combines the functionality of an air source heat pump and a standard boiler. To better understand the hybrid version, let’s first examine how air source heat pumps work.

Air Source Heat Pumps

Air source heat pumps extract heat from the outside air and convert it to warm your home and water. They can function even in temperatures as low as -20°C (-4°F), making them suitable for colder climates.

Hybrid Air Source Heat Pumps

A hybrid air source heat pump works similarly to an ordinary air source heat pump but integrates a gas-fired boiler as a backup. This combination offers the environmental benefits of air-based heating while ensuring efficient heating when the outside air is too cold.

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Pros and Cons of Hybrid Air Source Heat Pumps

Pros Cons
Efficient in colder regions Partial reliance on fossil fuels
Gas backup during winter Higher upfront costs
Environmentally friendly Complicated installation process
Ideal for poorly insulated homes Limited adoption rate
Low maintenance Limited experienced technicians
Reduces carbon footprint
Lowers energy bills

Choosing Between a Hybrid Heat Pump and a Normal Heat Pump

Your choice between a hybrid heat pump and a standard heat pump depends on various factors, such as your location and the insulation of your home. In older, poorly insulated homes, hybrid heat pumps provide the advantage of relying on a gas-powered boiler when air-based heating isn’t sufficient.

Hybrid Air Source Heat Pump Costs

Hybrid air source heat pumps are more expensive upfront compared to traditional boilers, with costs averaging around £10,000. However, they offer long-term savings, as they:

  • Last longer than standard boilers (20-25 years)
  • Are eligible for the UK’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme
  • Consume less fuel

Top Hybrid Air Source Heat Pumps on the Market

Manufacturer Model Cost (approximate)
Vaillant aroTHERM hybrid air source heat pump (5kW, 8kW, 11kW, 15kW) £5,900 – £8,500
Grant Aerona³ R32 air source heat pump £2,650 – £5,350
Daikin 5kW or 8kW Altherma heat pump £3,750 – £4,200

Installation Process and Time

Installation of a hybrid air source heat pump can vary depending on your home’s heating setup and the location of your pipework. Additionally, space considerations must be taken into account, as the heat pump requires outdoor space with adequate clearance.

Hybrid Air Source Heat Pump Maintenance

Hybrid air source heat pumps are low maintenance and less prone to repairs compared to standard boilers. However, it’s essential to:

  • Check and clean or replace filters, coils, and fans
  • Ensure airflow isn’t obstructed by debris
  • Monitor for leaks and empty accumulated condensation

Next Steps

With the UK government banning gas boilers in new builds from 2025 hybrid air source heat pumps are an excellent option for reducing your carbon footprint.

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