Category - Boilers
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Will Scholfield, Engineer

1 Aug : Updated 4 Apr ● 4 min read

What is a hybrid heating system?

To reach net-zero emissions by 2050, many people are looking at ways to change how we heat our homes. One way of doing this is by replacing gas boilers with low-carbon heating systems.

A hybrid heating system is exactly what it says on the tin - kitting out your home or business with the combination of traditional heating methods alongside one or more renewable energy sources; for example, a heat pump. 

These can take many shapes or forms, and for homes looking to increase their general efficiency, slash energy costs and reduce carbon emissions, hybrid heating systems are a logical next step.  

This guide will look at the technicalities of a hybrid heating system, from what it is, to how it can benefit you in the long run and how it can dramatically make an impact on the planet.

How do hybrid heating systems work?

Chances are you already have a gas or oil boiler in your home, so you’re already part-way there with everything you’ll need for a hybrid heating system. So how do hybrid heating systems work? 

Hybrid heating systems can consist of solar panels, heat pumps and boilers. Whether you have an oil or gas boiler, depending on the size, you could make your home more efficient by installing a renewable energy source. 

Not sure whether installing solar panels is worth it?

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When installed in the same home, heat pumps, solar panels and boilers coexist to generate energy to heat the home in a low-carbon approach. What’s more, they are sophisticated enough to switch between one application and another when appropriate. 

A hybrid heating system monitors the temperature outside and automatically decides the best and most efficient energy source to heat the home.  

What are heat pumps?

Alongside solar panels, heat pumps are the crème de la crème of the heating and renewable energy world. 

A heat pump is a device that efficiently transfers heat from one place to another. It works on the principle of moving heat instead of generating it directly. In simple terms, a heat pump can be thought of as a "heat transporter."

By installing a heat pump to work in conjunction with your oil or gas boiler, then you are adopting a hybrid heating system.

Heat pumps are a great alternative to stand-alone traditional methods of heating as they can lower your fuel bills, and cut carbon emissions. They are available for your home in two forms; ground source and air source

How much does a hybrid heating system cost?

With any change to your home, you’ll need to incorporate the installation and labour costs, too. As for materials, the price will differ between manufacturers. 

  • To install a heat pump system, as well as the pump itself, you’ll need the works - this includes: the indoor control unit, pipework, water treatment, insulation and fittings. They can cost anywhere between £5,000 - £8,000.
  • If you’re considering installing solar panels, then a set can cost you anywhere between £2,500 to £12,000, however, these numbers can increase or decrease depending on your situation and requirements.

Additionally, you would need to factor in labour costs - due to the weight of the units, you’ll most probably need at least two installers. Bear in mind, labour costs will vary depending on which supplier you choose. 

Is hybrid heating efficient?

The more energy-efficient your property, the more effective and economical your hybrid heating system will be. 

If you live in an older property, hybrid heat pumps or solar power might be a better solution than relying on renewable energy altogether. This is because older buildings tend to be less well-insulated than modern, more thermally prepared buildings. 

To make sure your home is as energy-efficient as possible, consider the following adaptations:

  • Loft insulation
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Draftproofing your windows and doors
  • Double glazing throughout 

Note: If you do have an older property and you are keen to install a heat pump, then you might want to consider a high-temperature heat pump. Alternatively, if you want to live off the grid entirely, then you’ll want to explore all the options available for renewable energy; check out our guide to the best green ways to heat your home

Explore a range of renewable energy systems with BOXT

Whether you’re just starting your journey to a more sustainable tomorrow, or you have any questions regarding your home’s carbon emissions - we can help. If you’d like to find out more about whether a hybrid heating system is right for you then use our Live Chat to speak directly with a member of our expert BOXT team.

We’ll be happy to walk you through some of the options available, including smart thermostats, and A-rated boilers

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