Hybrid vs traditional AC

kiropodApril 12, 2011

I was wondering whether a hybrid AC would be beneficial in Southern NJ. I had a manual J performed 2 weeks ago and the contractor is recommending a Carrier Hybrid AC (model 25HPA636) as well as an infinity 95% gased fired furnace (model 58MVC060F114). Is there a significant benefit to hybrid vs traditional AC, which he initially recommended?

Thank you for your help.


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if you have expensive electricity - not so much. But in reality the cost of a heatpump over the same model A/C isn't much for the equipment. Many installers charge a large premium for the heatpump which is unnecessary considering the miniscule extra work. It requires a couple extra wires running to it and a nicer thermostat. I personally think its a nice feature to have. What happens if natural gas becomes crazy expensive? What if electricity becomes cheap? Having a heatpump coupled with a gas furnace is nice. I have this. My electric rate is between .11 and .12 per KW with all fee's.

I run my heatpump down to 35. The heatpump does long run cycles. This provides evenly heated rooms which don't happen with a gas furnace if its not as cold out.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 3:35PM
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During the summer there will be no benefit.

In the winter you have a choice of operating with either the heat pump, furnace, or a combination of both. The frequency of how much each operates is determined by the cost of each fuel.

You need to look at the electric and gas rates in order to calculate how much savings you could gain in heating with the heat pump. I live in central NJ and have PSE&G as my utility provider. My current rates are $1.11/cu ft for gas, and 18.7 cents/KWhr. My 95% furnace (same one your are considering) is cheaper to operate than a heat pump.

You should also factor in the cost of operating the heat pump 10 months per year versus 5 months. This will reduce the life of the unit.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 3:43PM
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I am paying 11.2 cents/KWhr for electricity and 1.287/cu ft for gas.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 4:04PM
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Then you should get a hybrid system. You'll save a few hundred a year easily. Your heat pump will be cheaper to run down to 30 probably.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 5:04PM
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Make sure that your electric and gas rates are delivered prices, not just generation. Need to include transmission, distribution, etc.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 8:23PM
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Yes, the rates I quoted earlier included delivery. I am going to obtain a Rheem hybrid AC quote to compare with the Carrier.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 10:20PM
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don't pay too much for a heatpump. It should only be like $500 over a/c.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 7:36AM
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Actually, the cost of the traditional vs heat pump was essentially the same. Would it make sense to use my 12 year old Aprilaire humidifiers, or update them with the Carrier infinity furnace?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 8:03AM
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great. You havee a nice contractor. I would say upgrade the aprilaire. If your getting everything new, why would you want to keep the existing aprilaire. How much is the upgrade.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 11:55AM
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I hope kiropod sees this post! I am having the same dilemma. The contractors seem to think the heat pump is a good idea, but they want more $ for them. I don't know if we will live here 5 years or 10 years...so I don't want to over-invest.

I am also in South Jersey, can you tell me who you used that wasn't charging extra for the HP? I'm also curious about the total cost and what size equip you got. Did you go HP or traditional? Did you negotiate the price at all after you got your initial quote?

Thanks for any advice

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 2:24PM
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Kiropod, I was quoted $497 for an add-on humidifier option to a Carrier Infinity system. There is a replaceable pad in the unit that needs to get replaced every few years... they cost

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 7:27PM
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Make certain the rates posted are all inclusive of each and every charge.

I ran a quick fuel comparison using 95% eff for gas furnace and a 3.00 COP for HP.

This is a guide only.

Cost per 100,000 btu of useable heat

Electric baseboard: $2.95
Heat pump: $1.09
Natural gas: $1.32

On a BTU basis, about 17-18% savings using HP heat.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 9:45AM
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