PALO ALTO, Cal. – Almost everyone has heard of the hybrid vehicles that use two energy sources, usually gasoline and electricity, to increase fuel efficiency in their cars, but with the cost of natural gas reaching an all-time high, many homeowners are turning to the same technology to heat and cool their homes. for their family.
Like hybrid vehicles, hybrid heating systems use a combination of fossil fuels and electricity to increase the efficiency of the system and save fuel. Until recently, few people were interested in paying a little more up front for a hybrid vehicle. After all, gas was cheap and abundant. But record gas prices have consumers snapping up hybrid vehicles off dealer lots as fast as they can be built. The sudden rise in the cost of natural gas has homeowners clamoring for ways to save more on their heating bills.
While the concept of hybrid heating isn’t new, electronic technology, increased efficiency and the cost of fuel is now making hybrid heating systems affordable for the average homeowner.
Hybrid heating systems use electric heat pump technology when the weather is chilly and gas furnace technology when it gets really cold. This makes the home far more comfortable than any single system alone. When it is chilly, people prefer heat pumps over furnaces. The heat pump delivers a consistent “mellow” heat, while a gas furnace delivers intermittent blasts of hot air during mild weather.
If your heating system is over seven years old, it could be wasting as much as 30% of your heating dollar directly up the chimney. That’s a pretty big incentive to upgrade your working system to one that squeezes as much as 96 cents of heat out of every heating dollar.
It seems ironic that at a time when natural gas bills are slated to rise to as much as 70% over last year’s bills, that Congress has finally given a financial incentive to switch from your old inefficient heating systems to the newer high-efficient ones available. Plus as of January 26, 2006, all heat pumps and air conditioners rated at 12 SEER and below will be considered obsolete and can no longer be made.
In short, a hybrid heating system offers homeowners a new, more efficient way of heating and cooling their homes. When taking into consideration rising energy costs, the increases in efficiency, the comfort factor, the environmental benefits, and the tax incentive savings, it is a wonder that everyone isn’t wanting a hybrid heating system