Thanks for all of you who answered some questions I had a few weeks ago. After reading your views and the views of others on other posts, as well as reading up on the subject through Internet sites, I like the heat pump over a regular a/c - furnace system. (Any additional views on the pros and cons are always welcomed.)
My only question now is the noise level. Since I have to have the system running non-stop, how noisy is it? Also, can I turn it off completely during the Spring and Fall months when I don't need anything? Or will that just create more problems when I want to set it back up again? (I now have a regular a/c and electric heat air handler and keep the system off during most of the Spring, part of the Summer, and most of the Fall.)
I know no one who has a heat pump. Friends and collegues and in the NJ/NY area keep telling me that we don't have heat pumps here -- it's for moderate climates. I understand from this site that that's not the case. But, unfortunately, there's no one else to ask but you. I appreciate your responses.
Do you or your wife feel cold easily?
That is the question to ask.
All the science and mathematics in the world do not change the fact that 90-100F is all you get out of heat pump vents. And it blows all the time when it's cold out.
For many people this is not an issue. For many people this is.
Consider this, there are many people who would only have hot water in their house, that even a forced air gas/oil furnace makes them feel cold.
Depends on your level of tolerance for cold.
Back to your question. The unit will run when you need heat or cool. It will be off when you don't. In general it will run twice as long as a standard gas furnace.
[Edited by fortressofcomfort on 10-30-2006 at 05:17 PM]
For the most part noise isn't a huge concern, especially if you get the upper end brands and especially if you start getting into the higher effciency units.
In almost every case, the new units I've installed you can have a conversation right next to them with out any difficulty.
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There is no more reason for a heat pump to be any noisier than a gas furnace. Constant drone is easier to get used to then intermintant cycling. New sounds take a little time to get used to. I remember when Dad brought home a Grandfather clock. It was cool listening to it at dinner and throughtout the first evening but when midnight rolled around and it kept banging... Seemed like an eternity... we all laid in bed waiting for it to quit. It wasnt 2 days and I dont think I ever was bothered by the clock ringing again. I have two in my home now, and havent ever noticed them ringing except when I am adjusting them.
Your duct system has more to do with your comfort than the source of heat. 72 degrees at 35% RH is the same in any home. The drafty feeling comes from undersized or poorly designed duct or distribution systems and the occasional old coot that refuses to move his recliner 12 inches. The feeling is different at the registers, no doubt but you dont live in your registers.