• Hitachi hybrid fuel system.
    Hitachi hybrid fuel system.

Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning last week introduced the Hitachi air365 Hybrid dual fuel system, which combines a heat pump and furnace to provide efficient, economical home comfort year-round while reducing carbon emissions.

The air365 Hybrid system features an electric Hitachi Mini VRF heat pump as the primary heating and cooling source and an innovative dual fuel module that attaches to a home's new or existing gas furnace.

David Budzinski, president, global residential and light commercial at Johnson Controls and Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning, said that by primarily utilizing electricity, dual fuel heat pump systems are a more sustainable way to heat and cool homes, providing homeowners with a way to effortlessly cut their own carbon emissions and make a positive impact on the environment.

“Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do, and the Hitachi air365 Hybrid dual fuel system is proof of our commitment to developing best-in-class solutions that prioritize the environment while delivering superior comfort and lower operating costs,” he said.

“When temperatures are extremely low, most heat pumps rely on energy-intensive, electric resistance "strip" heating, which can significantly increase utility costs and strain the electric grid. “

To maximize efficiency and not compromise heating performance, it's often more sustainable to use the furnace as a backup heat source during the coldest days of the year. When the air365 Hybrid system is in heating mode, a smart sensor monitors the outdoor temperature. If it reaches a temperature where the heat pump cannot efficiently meet the indoor heating demand, it automatically switches from the heat pump to the furnace.

“This makes it possible for homeowners to easily optimize efficiency and comfort throughout the winter,” Budzinski said.

“In addition to reducing energy costs, electric heat pumps make it possible for homeowners to decarbonize their heating and cooling.”

When pairing a Hitachi Mini VRF heat pump with a YORK YP9C Modulating Gas Furnace as part of a dual fuel system, homeowners can cut utility costs by up to two thirds compared to conventional heating systems.

The Mini VRF heat pump is available in three different models to better meet a variety of residential applications and offers reliable performance across a wide range of temperatures – as low as 23 F (-5 C) outdoor ambient temperature in cooling mode and as low as -4 F (-20 C) in heating mode.

All models feature night shift, which allows the outdoor unit to operate very quietly, as low as 44 decibels or 10 decibels less than the average household refrigerator.