Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning unveils residential dual fuel heat pump system


Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning has launched a new residential heat pump system combining an air source heat pump (ASHP) and a gas furnace.

“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,” said the US-based cooling and heating specialist. “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.”

The company said the new air365 Hybrid system uses a Hitachi Mini VRF electric heat pump as its primary heating and cooling source.

“When the air365 Hybrid system is in heating mode, a smart sensor monitors the outdoor temperature,” the company explained. “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.”

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Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning offers three versions of the dual fuel system, weighing from 30.6 kg to 38.1 kg. The smallest system has a rated cooling capacity of 36,000 British thermal units (BTU)/h and a rated heating capacity of 40,000 BTU/h. The largest system has a cooling capacity of 60,000 BTU/h and a heating capacity of 66,000 BTU/h.

“The Mini VRF heat pump offers reliable performance across a wide range of temperatures – as low as -5 C outdoor ambient temperature in cooling mode and as low as -20 C in heating mode,” the manufacturer said. “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.”

The dual fuel system also features the Affinity Gas Furnace from US manufacturer York, which is a subsidiary of Johnson Controls.

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