iFLOW Smart Hybrid
Heating Controller

Easy HVAC Upgrades for Every Family

iFLOW’s Hydronic Furnace & Inverter Heat Pump Products

What is a Hybrid Heating System?

  • A Hybrid Heating System consists of 2 (or more) heat sources that combine to provide space heating throughout the heating season;
    • One heat source is typically gas based (NG or LP; examples: furnace, or a hydronic furnace with a combi-boiler, boiler, or tankless water heater, etc.);
    • The other is typcially electricity based (air source heat pump, ground source heat pump, or a hydronic furnace with an electric boiler, heat pump water heater, electric water heater, etc.);
  • Homeowners can manually choose which energy source you want to use at any particular time; or the switching can be automated using the iFLOW Smart Hybrid Heating Controller;
  • With the iFLOW Smart Hybrid Heating Controller, homeowners select a set of criteria parameters that automatically switch between energy sources. Switching can be based on outdoor temperature, time of day (to avoid peak energy rates), to minimize operational cost or to optimize GHG reduction.

How to Create a Hybrid Heating System?

iFLOW has a suggestion to improve a heating system’s efficiency while lowering its overall operating cost:

  • Replace an old air conditioner with a new iFLOW inverter driven, variable speed heat pump to create a smart hybrid heating system (electric HP & gas furnace); keep your existing furnace or upgrade to an iFLOW Hydronic Furnace; either way, you will need to change to a matched evaporator in Canada to claim C$5,000 grant on the iFLOW 2T, 2.5T and 3T models;
  • Use the iFLOW cold climate heat pump during the shoulder seasons when the COPs are highest (Sept., Oct., Nov.; Mar., Apr., May), and when the gas furnace would typically be cycling, resulting in reduced efficiency;
  • Switch to the gas furnace for the coldest months (Dec., Jan., Feb.) when heat pump efficiency drops (COP values drop), and when heat pump may not have the BTUH capacity, but conversely when a furnace would typically have longer running times, offering its top efficiency;
  • Home heating capacity (ability to deliver BTUH into the home) is not at all compromised.

Conceptual Installation of a new iFLOW Heat Pump with the iFLOW Smart Hybrid Heating Controller & Existing Furnace:

Old Air Conditioner & Furnace with Tank-type Water Heater

Advantages of an iFLOW Hybrid Heating Controller

  • Don’t need an expensive heat pump thermostat (save hundreds in cost)
  • Don’t need to fish any new wires through the home (save hours in labour), no holes in drywall (no wall repair, no painting)
  • Installs in the mechanical room
  • Simple and easy wiring; extra sensors for better heating system control
  • Various switching modes (outdoor temperature or COP)
  • Wi-Fi capable (for use with free iFLOW Smartphone APP, auto updates, remote monitoring, demand response advantage, etc.)

Conceptual Installation of a new iFLOW Heat Pump and iFLOW Hydronic Furnace with a new Condensing Tankless Water Heater:

Old Air Conditioner & Furnace with Tank-type Water Heater

The iFLOW Hybrid System

Energy Savings

What is COP and what does it mean?

  • COP (Coefficient of Performance) is a relative measurement of the efficiency of a heat pump.
  • COP is the relationship between the power input (in kW) supplied to the heat pump’s compressor compared with the heat output of the heat pump’s condenser (in kW).
  • If a heat pump has a COP = 3 for example, that means for every 1 kW supplied to the compressor, 3 kW of heat is outputted by the condenser
  • Comparing to a mid-efficiency gas furnace, for every 3,412 btu/h (1 kW) of gas energy supplied, the heat output will be 80~85% (0.8~0.85 kW). For condensing furnaces, 93~99% (0.93~0.99 kW). Either way, the approximate COP equivalent would be <1.
  • So if we run the heat pump for ½ of the heating season when the COPs are approximately 3, and then run the furnace for the other ½ of the heating season at just under 1, then the combined average efficiency for the heating season is approximately 2.
  • Thus the efficiency increases from <1 (80~99%) with the gas furnace, to approximately 2 (200%) with the hybrid heating system; we can effectively double the seasonal heating efficiency of the mechanical system.

Can Installing an iFLOW Heat Pump
Really Double a Heating System’s Efficiency?

Yes, Let’s look at an example!

BTUH Capacity vs. Temperature

COP vs. Temperature

COP & BTUH Capacity vs. Temperature

Actual Toronto Winter Heating Season

Generic Regular Heat Pump COP & BTUH Capacity vs. Temperature

Actual Toronto Winter Heating Season

Hybrid System Results

High Efficiency Furnace & Generic Regular Heat Pump

Relative Cost of Operation of Hybrid System Results

Install an iFLOW Hybrid Heating Controller.

Using the iFLOW Smart Hybrid Heating Controller, and an iFLOW Heat Pump, you can double the efficiency of any existing furnace and A/C system!

Design Schematic

  • Replace old A/C with iFLOW inverter heat pump (ccASHP)
  • Upgrade to a condensing tankless water heater;
  • Replace old furnace with an iFLOW Hydronic Furnace;
  • Eliminate need for 2nd set of vent connections (ideal for RNC)
  • Improve performance by approximately 10% over the best Energy Star rated gas furnaces, bar none!!

Best efficiency and best Comfort in the HVAC industry! 

Efficiency Performance Comparison

Highest efficiencies = lowest energy bills!

And a much greener planet. iFLOW combination systems can outperform even the highest AFUE rated, Energy-Star labelled furnaces by a average of 9% because of their exceptional hardware and software engineering. iFLOW is unrivaled in terms of efficiency optimization, most often delivering 95%~98% with mod/con tankless, combi-boilers or boilers, and even greater when paired with heat pumps. On average, an iFLOW combi-system delivers payback in 3.5 years.

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