A hybrid boiler is the combination of a traditional boiler with a renewable system, such as an air source heat pump or ground source heat pump. It will automatically switch between the two energy sources depending on which is the most efficient at the time.

How do hybrid boilers work?

A hybrid boiler system intelligently monitors external temperature and calculates the most efficient and cost-effective method to heat your home and provide hot water, using a heat pump whenever possible.

The heat pump can extract warmth from the air or ground at very low temperatures, but the boiler will fire up if these temperatures drop too far and it’s more cost effective for the boiler to operate. Because the property benefits from both methods of heating, hybrid boilers can be a good solution to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels without any change in the comfort level.

Benefits of using a hybrid boiler

If an air source heat pump or ground source heat pump alone isn’t enough to heat your property, there are benefits to installing a hybrid boiler.

The system is ideal for all seasons, keeping your home cool in the summer months and warm throughout winter. The heat pumps act as a ‘reverse air conditioner’ to provide heat when needed. However, if external conditions are too harsh for this to meet requirements efficiently, then the boiler will kick in to make up the deficit.

Because you are using two different methods of heating in tandem, and neither is relied on for constant use, by its very nature a hybrid system won’t need to work so hard and should have a longer lifespan.

Costs and savings

A hybrid boiler system typically has more of an initial cost than a traditional boiler. However, you will need to take into account the potential savings in the long term.

The cost of a hybrid boiler system

The cost of a new boiler for a three-bedroom semi-detached property can range from approximately £1,400 to £4,200, depending on the make and model.

If you are combining a boiler with an air source heat pump then you can expect to pay between £5,000 and £10,000, which includes installation. [source]

For the installation and integration of a ground source heat pump with a hybrid system, the cost is likely to rise to between £13,000 and £20,000. [source]

A HIES installer will be able to provide you with a detailed quote.

Potential savings

Air source and ground source heat pumps are designed to generate significantly more heat than the electricity required to run them. This combined heat pump should mean the traditional boiler system won’t be needed much of the time, so your requirements for oil or gas will be much lower.

What’s the difference between a combi and hybrid boiler?

A combi boiler is a water heater and central heating boiler combined in one so it does not require a hot water cylinder. A combi boiler will typically run off gas.

A hybrid boiler combines a traditional fossil fuel boiler with an air or ground source heat pump to reduce the overall amount of fuel needed to heat the water required for heating the property and hot water. This system requires a suitable hot water cylinder.

Things to consider

The heat pump element of the hybrid boiler is more efficient in a well-insulated building with efficient underfloor heating or radiators. If the property is poorly insulated or the radiators are inefficient, the system will rely more heavily on the traditional boiler to generate sufficient heat and burn more fuel than anticipated.

Using an approved HIES installer

All HIES Accredited Installers are continually vetted in many areas in order to give consumers trust, confidence and peace of mind.

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