Choosing a Hybrid HVAC System

It's about time for me to upgrade my home's HVAC components, and I've been hearing a lot about hybrid systems. Can they really keep my home comfy and cut my utility bills?
jrocha 1-18-08 2:33pm

Just like hybrid vehicles, hybrid HVAC systems have come a long way in the last few years, and now's a great time to check them out as a potential means of home heating and cooling. Hybrid HVAC systems bring together two fuel sources for efficient heating and cooling, usually a gas furnace and an electric heat pump. A smart control system is where the efficiency comes in: calibrated by your local installer according to local seasonal temperatures and utilities rate patterns, it switches between the furnace and heat pump depending on which offers the most economical power for your heating or cooling needs at any given time. And you'll definitely see results when you do a before-and-after comparison of utilities bills: American Standard's Heritage Hybrid Comfort System, for example, can deliver up to 68 percent energy savings over a comparable 10-year-old system and 37 percent savings compared to more recent systems.

Other benefits of a hybrid HVAC system include longer life for those expensive components thanks to the shared fueling responsibility, and settings that can be adjusted by your dealer as major changes occur in utilities rates and local climatic patterns. Such systems also accommodate the addition of air filtration and humidity-control units for improved comfort and air quality indoors.

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