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Hybrid Heat Pump Systems UK, Pros, Cons & Installation Cost

When it comes to buying a new boiler, there are many different options to choose from.

alpha etec hybrid heat pump

Whether that be your traditional combi, system or conventional boiler, did you know that there are also hybrid heating systems?

These clever systems are very advanced and are recently gaining popularity, read below to learn all about them.

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How do Hybrid systems work?

Hybrid heat pump systems include multiple heating systems to increase efficiency. Usually, these combine a gas combi with a high efficiency boiler with a heat pump, offering a double advantage by merging the advantages of both.

For example, heating capability of a boiler with the energy-efficient nature of a heat pump.

The benefit of a hybrid setup lies in its adaptability. heat pump systems work by easily adjusting between the boiler and heat pump based on demand, making sure that it efficiently delivers heat to keep your home and water warm.

This not only guarantees comfort but also boosts energy efficiency, making use of the most suitable system at any given time.

A hybrid heating system cleverly draws upon the strengths of different heating technologies, combining their abilities to create a more efficient and adaptable heating solution for your home.

How does a hybrid heat pump system work?

The hybrid heat pump cleverly chooses its operation mode (depending on the outside temperature), which will ultimately lead to lower running costs overall. The heat pump mode can deliver up to 75% renewable energy.

During the colder months, the hybrid will combine the heat pump and gas boiler as energy sources, further increasing the boiler’s efficiency.

How to save money with a hybrid heating pump boiler

A heat pump works by applying a small amount of electricity, gathering free energy gained from the air or ground, therefore keeping operational costs incredibly low.

his means a reduced reliance on your gas or oil boiler, cutting down massively on the need to purchase oil or gas from suppliers.

There is an estimated potential savings of up to 50% on annual heating bills by switching to these renewable heating systems.

This also diminishes the need for heavy reliance on an existing boiler, switching towards these renewable energy technologies.

Better Energy Efficiency

Hybrid systems can provide huge energy-saving benefits that in turn will lead to lower energy bills. If you are looking to maximise the energy efficiency of your boiler, then getting a hybrid boiler may be something to seriously consider.

Alpha E-Tec hybrid heat pump system

The hybrid heat pump and boiler system offers a big advantage by adapting between energy sources based on their cost-effectiveness.

During warmer months, a heat pump typically operates at its best efficiency, while a boiler excels in handling extremely low temperatures.

This system is engineered to freely change between the heat pump and boiler based on their energy efficiency at any moment. Despite using electricity for operation, a heat pump generates approximately 3 to 4 times more energy than it consumes.

Heat pumps today can reach 300% to 400% energy efficiency or even higher, this means that they’re putting out three to four times as much energy in the form of heat as they’re using in electricity, so for those looking for the most sustainable option and low energy bills, then look no further than this hybrid system.

Your heat pump options

There are many types of heat pumps, for example, ground, air, water-source, and hybrid heat pumps . A hybrid heat pump, also called a dual fuel system, works by switching between the two energy sources (a heat pump + boiler combo) based on the season, temperature, and function needed for maximum efficiency and effective heating and cooling. 

Why do we need hybrid heat pumps?

Heat pumps are becoming more and more popular, for many reasons. like it’s functionality, energy efficiency as it is a more renewable solution, switching between your heat pump and boiler, depending on which is the most energy efficient at that current time.

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Why do I need the gas boiler if the heat pump can heat my home?

To meet the proper heating demands of your home, this is because the heat pump will not be able to heat every single area of the home on its own, therefore the gas boiler fills in to help achieve warmth to each area of your property.

What are the benefits of a Hybrid (Dual Fuel) Heat Pump System?

The main benefits of the Hybrid heat pump system would be lower energy bills and automatic fuel switching. These benefits are why these systems are becoming so popular, people can save hundreds, if not thousands on their energy bills, and the automatic fuel switching is a huge asset of this system.

What are the benefits for UK households?

The switching fuel pump will become an increasingly useful feature as the UK government plans to adjust domestic gas and electricity pricing in the coming years. The intention is to eventually make electricity more affordable than gas, as it’s currently the costlier option.

However, these price shifts will occur gradually over time. Having a system capable of using the most economical energy source help you gain an advantage.

What efficiency can I expect with a Hybrid Heat Pump Boiler?

When you look at the efficiency of most leading gas boilers, they typically range between 90 to 94%. This shows that despite their effectiveness, there’s always a portion of heat that escapes and gets released through their flue pipes, contributing to heat loss.

On the other hand, heat pumps boast an impressive efficiency of about 300 to 400%. This means that for every kilowatt (kW) of electricity consumed by the heat pump, you can expect to receive 3 to 4 times more heat in return.

This efficiency factor becomes especially important during colder periods when central heating systems experience a higher heat demand.

Dakin Hybrid Heat Pump System

What are the disadvantages of a Hybrid Heat Pump?

The main disadvantage of the hybrid heat pump would be the cost, for example installing one would usually cost between £5000 and £10,000. A traditional boiler replacement would be a much cheaper option however, if you consider the financial benefit over the long term, then you should make a huge portion of this back through lower energy bills and the amount you will save in the future.

It may become the best financial choice in the future although it is initially expensive. If it came down to the two options of getting either a heat pump or boiler, the traditional boiler is the cheaper option.

Another disadvantage is that it isn’t completely renewable, as they still rely on fossil fuels to run. However, there is not currently a way to be able to heat our homes without some reliance on fossil fuels.

Are they suitable for all property types?

While they may be suitable for many properties, they aren’t suitable for every type. For example, if you live in a flat or listed building you may not be allowed to have a hybrid pump installed. It also may not be suitable for some homes, meaning that it may cost more to run than your current boiler.

Also, homes built before the 1920s may not be eligible to have one of these installed due to them having solid walls, which can make them harder to install than cavity walls and if they don’t have good insulation then the pumps ultimately may not be able to work properly.

How much does a Hybrid Heating System cost?

Hybrid heat pump systems price can range from around £5000 to £10,000, compared to your usual boiler systems which can cost anywhere from £1500 to £5000.

The Heat Pump systems cost can vary, for example they are usually the more expensive option upfront, however this will cancel down over time due to the amount that will be saved on energy bills overall, so it’s more of a future investment.

People looking to cut down on costs when purchasing a hybrid heating system tend to try different money saving tricks to cut down overall costs.

High-temperature heat pumps

High-temperature heat pumps

A high-temperature heat pump stands as a renewable energy solution capable of heating your home just as effectively and swiftly as a gas boiler would.

With the ability to reach temperatures from 60°C to 80°C, this type of heat pump ensures a faster heating process compared to standard heat pumps, getting rid of the need for investing in new radiators or additional insulation.

While regular heat pumps usually provide water at temperatures between 45°C to 55°C, high-temperature heat pumps offer domestic hot water at the same level as boilers, ranging from 60°C to 80°C.

Regular heat pumps are gradually catching up, now featuring models that can reach temperatures of 60°C to 65°C. In reality, high-temperature heat pumps rarely need to hit these temperatures.

For the average three-bedroom household, investing in a high-temperature heat pump costs around £11,000 including both the purchase and installation expenses.

This amount is approximately 10% higher than the average cost of an air-source heat pump and more than double the price of a gas boiler. However, opting for a high-temperature heat pump ensures future-proofing your home against potential gas boiler bans without the need to get new insulation or radiators to make the transition.

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Reduced carbon footprint

Burning fossil fuels to heat our homes will add to our carbon footprint, as there has not yet been a way invented to efficiently heat our homes without the reliance on fossil fuel systems being burnt. The hybrid heat pump system still will produce carbon emissions.

However, the hybrid setup not only stands out for its common usage but also for its ability to cut down on carbon emissions, a noticeable difference when compared to more traditional options like a standard gas boiler.

So if you are someone who is trying to cut down their carbon footprint, then the hybrid system could be an option to seriously consider.

Renewable heating

A renewable heating system gains energy from Earth’s many natural resources such as sunlight, wind, and ambient air temperature. This energy, often termed ‘clean energy,’ stems from sources that are endless, paving the way for sustainable and environmentally friendly power generation.

If you are considering the hybrid system as your new boiler, bear in mind that they are a more environmentally friendly option, but are not a completely renewable heating system, they can deliver up to 75% renewable energy.

Is there a specific type of hybrid boiler system I need?

Depending on your needs, there are a few options to consider. Air Source Heat Pump with gas/oil boiler, this combines an air source heat pump with a gas or oil boiler for more efficient heating, using the strengths of both systems.

Ground Source Heat Pump with Backup System, combining a ground source heat pump with a supplementary heating system, such as a boiler, to make sure of consistent heating in diverse weather conditions.

Hybrid electric heat pump with solar panels, pairing an electric heat pump with solar panels, using renewable energy to power the heat pump and reducing reliance on normal electricity sources.

Dual-Fuel Systems are capable of running on multiple fuels, such as a combination of electricity and natural gas, providing flexibility and efficiency based on fuel availability and cost.

Geothermal heat pump with conventional Boiler:

Merging a geothermal heat pump with a traditional boiler to optimise heating efficiency by putting renewable geothermal energy alongside the boiler’s backup support.

Each hybrid system offers distinct advantages, depending on property layouts, energy needs, and environmental considerations. Choosing the right hybrid heating system depends on factors like location, energy efficiency goals, available resources, and budget constraints.

Consulting with heating professionals can help determine the most suitable hybrid system for specific requirements.

What are the benefits of installing a hybrid heat pump?

There are many benefits to installing a hybrid heat pump, it can cut your carbon emissions by around 60% and a further 50% can be saved on heating bills annually, so if you have the money to spend the initial upfront cost and are looking for a more sustainable option, the hybrid heat pumps would be a serious option to consider.

Alpha Hybrid heat pump system

Alpha is a very well-known and popular heating brand, their most famous boiler being the E-Tec combi boiler which is a great, reliable option for many homes.

Alpha also offers the E-Tec hybrid, this hybrid heat pump offers many advantages like the heating flow temperature adapts based on the external temperature and the heating demand, ensuring effective warming of the property.

This intelligent system automatically regulates the water temperature in the radiators, adjusting it according to the outside temperature.

Daikin Hybrid Heating System

Dakin is another brand of boiler that is also very well known, the factor that sets them apart from other boilers is that Dakin boilers are around 93% efficient, which makes them the most efficient boiler on the market.

Dakin also has their own hybrid heat pump systems, The Dakin Altherma H hybrid and the Dakin Altherma R hybrid.

Costly to install

Hybrid heating systems are generally a very expensive option both to purchase and install, depending on your specific wants and needs, there are a few types of hybrid systems available to get hold of, for example, a hybrid air source heat pump can cost around £7000 to £15,000

. This depends on how large your property is and the difficulty of the job, installation costs can rise depending on this. On average a normal new boiler costs around £4000, so the hybrid pumps are a highly expensive choice when it comes to your home heating.

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Costs to install a hybrid heating system

The cost of installing a hybrid heat pump in the UK can change significantly based on many factors such as the type of system, property size, existing infrastructure, and specific requirements. On average, installation costs for a hybrid heat pump in the UK might range from several thousand to tens of thousands of pounds.

It’s important to consider expenses beyond just the equipment itself, including installation labour, potential modifications to existing heating systems, additional components, and any necessary permits or certifications. Speaking with heating professionals or obtaining quotes tailored to your property’s needs would provide a more accurate estimate for the installation cost.

Lifetime costs: Hybrid vs Boiler

The overall lifetime costs differ from the initial costs when it comes to hybrid systems, due to the incredibly expensive upfront cost and installation costs, but over time you save a lot more money then if you got a traditional new boiler (like a gas or oil boiler). A lot less energy bills compared to the usual systems.

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