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Hybrid heat pump frequently asked questions

What is a hybrid (or dual-fuel) heat pump?

It is a heating and cooling system that can heat using electricity or gas, giving you the best of both heating options. It is much like a hybrid electric vehicle which can operate on either electricity or gas. During the cooling season, a hybrid heat pump works just like a regular air conditioner. During the heating season, heat is provided by the heat pump when it is most efficient and automatically switches to a furnace at other times.

Why would I want to consider a hybrid heat pump?

  • Provides heat at a temperature closer to the setting for your home, keeping temperature ranges more
    constant and your home more comfortable.
  • Does not dry out the home as quickly as a standard furnace, and helps keep your home more
    comfortable when it is operating.
  • Does not burn fossil fuels when the heat pump is operating, so it helps reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Provides the flexibility of having heating options.
  • Works in conjunction with your propane or gas furnace, so the furnace remains a part of your system.

Why are new homes not eligible for this program?

New homes have their heating and cooling included in the cost of the home. Replacement systems can be expensive and are generally a stand-alone expense. This program is specifically directed towards the replacement market to help encourage high efficiency replacement equipment that provides affordable customer options.

Why is the program limited to one rebate per person per year?

The program is designed for a standard homeowner replacing a single air conditioner. This covers most of the residential replacement market. If a homeowner has more than one air conditioner being replaced, they are still eligible for the rebate offer on one of the systems.

Why is the program only for hybrid heat pump upgrades and not full heat pump upgrades?

An upgrade to a hybrid heat pump utilizes the existing furnace and requires no additional power to the indoor unit. That minimizes the expense of the upgrade. An upgrade to a full heat pump would take more extensive modification.

How can a heat pump be considered more eco-friendly or greener?

A heat pump provides heat using electricity rather than burning a fossil fuel to create heat. If you trace the production of electricity back to the source, you will find that Westar’s production of electricity is roughly 50% emission free, which is among the nation’s leaders in clean energy.

Why is Westar offering a rebate? Why don’t they use that money to reduce my rates?

A hybrid heat pump provides benefits to both Westar and its customers. For a customer, it provides a flexible and efficient fuel heating source that takes advantage of both heating sources in the home at the time they work best. For Westar, it provides additional energy sales over an existing electric system which helps provide revenue for system maintenance and other operating costs. Spreading these costs our over more energy sales helps reduce the pressure for higher rates to cover expenses. The rebate is covered by the additional revenue provided by the hybrid system in the first few years of operation.

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