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Hybrid Heating vs Individual Heat Pump or Furnace

blue-question-markWhen it comes to installing a forced-air heating system, there are many systems available. However, there are two different approaches that can be taken:

  1. Opting for either a heat pump or a furnace.
  2. Opting for a hybrid heater, which combines a heat pump and furnace into one system.

The goal of a hybrid heater is to be as efficient as possible, and it does a nice job. However, it’s worth considering all the main features of each system in order to understand if a hybrid heater is ideal for a homeowner’s situation.

Hybrid Heating

A hybrid heating system essentially provides the best of both heat pumps and furnaces. Both of the heaters have their own pros and cons, but a hybrid heater works in a way that helps eliminate both of those cons.


Hybrid heaters are designed to always operate at their most efficient. While other heaters can guarantee efficiency only in certain temperatures, the point of the hybrid heater is to be efficient at all temperatures.

The way it does this is by detecting outdoor temperatures. As soon as the temperature is too cold for the heat pump, it will switch over into gas furnace mode. Once the outdoor air warms up and becomes OK for the heat pump again, it switches back.

If it’s calibrated correctly, the hybrid heat pump will always switch functions for the best efficiency.


These systems can only be installed as part of a duct system. While ducts are a great way to provide whole-home heating and cooling cost-effectively, ducts will require extra HVAC services in Bronxville as they age, such as repairs or replacements, which can add extra costs.

Fuel Type

Hybrid heaters use both electricity and natural gas interchangeably.

Heat Pumps

For all the benefits of a heat pump, the most unique is its ability to both heat and cool, changing functions at the flip of a switch.


Amazing efficiency in the summer and during moderately cold weather. However, some brands of heat pump will lose efficiency below 30°F. Make sure to speak with a technician about various options if efficiency is a concern.


Heat pumps can be installed either as ducted or ductless systems. Both have several benefits that should be fully considered before committing to a decision.

Fuel Type

Electric only. While electricity can be expensive, heat pumps use it very efficiently until outdoor temperatures drop too low.


Classic heating systems that can provide heated air quicker than heat pumps and even during the coldest weather.


Furnaces can be a bit overkill in temperatures where heat pumps thrive. They can spend more energy on heating than is required for moderate cold. However, they’re extremely effective in lower temperatures.


These systems are only available with ducts.

Fuel Type

Furnaces are commonly used either with natural gas or electricity. Unlike a hybrid system, they cannot change the fuel type.

There’s much to learn about all three heating systems. To get the full story, contact Yost & Campbell Heating, Cooling & Generators to speak with an expert.

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