Hybrid heating systems: How do they work?

Hybrid heating systems, using both heat pumps and fossil fuel boilers, are being discussed quite a lot now as we look towards introducing more renewable heating technologies into UK homes. Here at Freedom, we have a reputation for making systems straightforward and easy to understand, so we thought we would take a moment to discuss how these systems work.

What are the options?

Our options for hybrid heating systems are effectively split as either heat only (a fossil fuel boiler with domestic hot water cylinder and heat pump) or combi (combination boiler and heat pump).

In both scenarios, the appliances work together to provide heating and hot water. The fossil fuel boiler will deliver hot water throughout the year (heat only via the cylinder and combi on demand), with the heat pump serving the vast majority of the central heating demand of the property (approx. 80%). The fossil fuel boiler will only come on to support the central heating at a predetermined outside temperature (i.e. 3°C), at which point the heat pump stops completely and the fossil fuel boiler delivers all heating and hot water.

Where do hybrid heating systems work best?

In our experience, hybrid systems are best suited to older, leakier properties – especially those where two (or more) heat pumps to cover a property’s heating load may not be economically or practically possible.

Below are a couple of example schematics for the Midea equipment, but please note that almost all heat pumps we offer can work in a hybrid setup.

Heat only


Can you claim back through the Renewable Heat Incentive?

Yes, though it is important to remember that hybrid heating systems need to be metered for payment. While you can give an approximate amount that a homeowner will receive, it is impossible to say 100%; it will ultimately depend on the reading from the heat meter and electric meters connected as part of the heat pump installation.

If you think you may have a project that could be perfect for a hybrid heating system, please get in touch with the Freedom team on 02380 274833 or email sales@freedomhp.co.uk.