View Full Version : A Heat Pump The Way To Go? ...CoNfUsEd...
05-10-2007, 12:55 PM
My heat pump went out last week and when I have gotten two different guys to come look at it they both suggested not going with a heat pump.
I've read some that heat pumps are better for mild winters and that in Nebraska, where we hit below zero, it isn't as good. And also that the compressor would run all year around, not just during the summer like a normal A/C unit. And then would be done in 10-15 years instead of like 20, like what is happening now. The heat pump I have now is only 12 years old, with a bad compressor.
I am really confused though because just heating the house with the air handler would more more expensive correct? What do others see being installed in the same climates?
I have gotten 3 quotes: Goodman / Rheem / Amana
I think I am leaning towards the Rheem or Amana but there is a $1500 price difference....thoughts?
05-10-2007, 03:59 PM
My suggestion - there is considerable and very recent discussion about these units on this forum. Spend a few minutes and use the search command and then copy/paste some of the replies to a text document. If you are a homeowner like myself - it will be more than useful to have the material where you can refer to it off-line.
My informed (as I have read and re-read many times over these very posts) opinion is that this question has the potential to pull replies from qualified and seasoned pro's who will recommend each of the different brands. It may be more time effective to determine what type of purchaser you are - someone willing to pay for the highest level of protection and comfort or someone who is more comfortable with a moderate investment - believing that technology advances so fast it won't make a difference or that you will not be staying in your house long enough to make the higher investment pay off.
Please forgive this obvious advice - it is given with a very high regard for the conversation on this site. After spending a little more time reading these posts - and that really should not take too long - you may have more detailed questions which will help with the decision - ie how important are high and low pressure switches or what is the difference between a one and two stage system. Of course - the answer to these questions is also in the heat pump posts which have taken place in just the last month or so.
Speaking for myself, I have been corresponding with another homeowner from this group and we have both choosen different manufacturers based on the advise that we have read here. There may be no best choice - just informed ones. I believe we will both end up with great systems.
So that I don't avoid the question totally - I'll tell you that I selected the rheem hp but I would have been very comfortable with any of the other higher level units provided I had confidence in my installer and that he/she had done a load calc on my house to verify the equipment size. By the way - if you are so inclined you can do your own load calc by using free software (if you look hard enough online) or by searching this site for a link to where you can pay $45 for a two month access to the software.
This information is all on this site. You will sleep well at night after a little more reading. Along with the HP issues you may also want to consider other heating solutions specific to your climate. Additionally - if you stay with a HP - what will you use for heat below 30 degrees? The simple combinations are HP with 80% gas furnace (referred to as a dual fuel system) or AC Condensor with 90+% gas furnace. There are many other technologies available. Search the forum for other homeowners who have asked about options for climates like yours.
Good luck on your decision.
05-10-2007, 04:44 PM
Martlet gave you some very good advice. In my expierience, a compressor lasting 12 years ain't bad, especially if your weather is as severe as you say. That little can has been working it's guts out all year round. So I wouldn't dump the heat pump based on that criteria.
Has it served your need?
Has it been effcient and affordable?
Why are you being told not to use a heat pump? Has anyone suggested different systems and shown the benefits vs a heat pump?
tinknocker service tech
05-10-2007, 05:12 PM
the unit has served you for 12 years and you are happy with it and comfortable also
if you have gas or oil fine but go daul fuel and let the heat pump work till it cant keep up and switches to the furnace
if electric only witch i assume is what you have then install a new heat pump and save on the heating bills in the long run
if they are selling you against a heat pump then it is safe to think they know nothing about them and cant install or service heat pumps properly
find someone that is willing to give you what you need not what they want
05-10-2007, 09:18 PM
Well, the average mean temperature in your state is about 49 degrees so I'm sure you have some exceedingly cold winters.
If the heat pump has served you well for a dozen years, I would stick with it.
Maybe you could afford a slightly higher seer system and see about making sure that you have an adequate amount of supplemental electric heat just to be sure you stay comfortable in the event of any problems with the outdoor section.?
You could also get a programmable lockout that would keep your electric heat from energizing until the temperature get down to a pre-selected point.
We usually program ours to stage in at about 40 degrees and below.
A split system heat pump is a very economical option and if you have 12 years of experience with no major comfort or operational complaints, I would definitely consider sticking with it.
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