Hybrid heating systems can either use one energy source to create 2 or more useful forms of energy, or use 2 or more energy sources combined to create 1 or more useful forms of energy. Hybrid systems that use one energy source will often create both space heat and hot water. These systems can be built around either a boiler or a water heater.
Hybrid systems with multiple energy sources coordinate the individual units so that only one operates at a time. Examples of this kind of system include solar water heaters that need a gas-powered heater to provide hot water when the sun is not shining, or add-on heat pumps that use a gas furnace to provide space heating on very cold days.
The primary benefits of hybrid systems are cost savings, from reductions in either equipment first costs (from needing less equipment) or operating costs (from using less energy). Some systems also yield space savings, particularly those using a water heater for space heat. Such systems will often be used in small residences, such as apartments or condominiums.
III Equipment Options
As mentioned above, hybrid heating systems can take multiple forms.
1. Equipment Manufacturer Database
2. Natural Gas Efficiency Consortium