Hybrid Design: Going Beyond Automobiles

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Hybrid designs stand out as the most fuel efficient models available in today’s automotive market.  By maximizing the benefits of two types of motors — gas and electric— as well as capturing energy from the brakes, hybrid owners see some pretty significant savings at the pump.  Hybrid technology goes beyond automobiles, though.  Some of today’s most advanced heating systems are based on combining two types of motors to save you money.

Electric vs. Gas Heating

Most Florida homeowners have two options for heating their homes during the winter — electric or natural gas.  Both of these energy sources offer advantages and disadvantages.

Electric Heating

The advantages of electric heating are

  • Electricity is more widely available
  • Easily converted for solar power
  • Reduced safety risks (no concerns about gas leaks or carbon monoxide)
  • No flame source that could cause a fire in your home

Natural Gas Heating

When compared to electric heating, natural gas heating

  • Is more affordable, convenient and consistent (delivery is not disrupted by power outages)
  • Produces a more comfortable type of indoor heat
  • Warms the home faster
  • Is easier to control
  • Offers up to 98% AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency)
  • Produces less pollutants

Hybrid Heating = Energy Efficient

When winter temperatures drop below a certain point, an electric heat system uses electric resistance back-up to heat the home.  As this happens, the system uses more energy which translates into a higher electric bill.  By combining the benefits of both electric and gas heating, hybrid heating systems use a “dual fuel” approach to keeping your home comfortable in the winter.  The systems are designed with a gas furnace and an electric heat pump.  As the temperatures drop outside, an electric heat pump becomes less energy efficient.  In order to reduce energy use, hybrid heating switches to the gas furnace.  Hybrid systems are flexible in the temperature point at which the system switches from electric to gas, so homeowners have an even greater control over their energy use.

Homeowner Savings with a Hybrid Heating System

So just how much can you save with a hybrid heating system?  When you install the system, you qualify for certain tax credits.  Operation costs also go down.  On average, heating and cooling a 2,400 square foot home will cost $2,103 (approximately $0.88 per square foot) annually.  With a hybrid heating system, the same household will spend $1,715 (approximately $0.71 per square foot) annually on heating and cooling.  Installing a new hybrid system may cost you around 14% more than a traditional heating system, but the energy savings will pay for the system in less than three years.

Protecting the Environment with Hybrid Heating

Does hybrid heating really help the environment?  Yes.  In some areas of the country, the CO2 emissions related to electric heating is equivalent to the same emissions as an automobile that is driven for one year.  So even if you do not drive a hybrid vehicle, you can still offset the emissions from your automobile by installing a hybrid heating system in your home.

To learn more about hybrid heating systems in Manatee, Sarasota, Polk, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando Counties, contact And Services to schedule an in-home evaluation by our professional technicians.