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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    12

    Need advices on Heatpump - Building new home

    Hello ALL experts,

    We are building our new home in Nebraska. it is outside of city limit so NO natural gas but electric only. We currently have Bryant 80 12 SEER dual source (gas as a backup source) heat pump for 12 years and are pretty happy with it.

    Since we have NO natural gas will the electric heatpump alone good enough? If we want gas we need to use portable propane tank which we are not so sure about. What unit would be efficient? It will be a ranch house with about 1800 sq ft.

    Thank you so much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central Fla.
    Posts
    311
    If you can afford the install cost GEO Thermal would be the way to go. It's pricey though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    West Chester, PA
    Posts
    511
    heat pumps are usually sized for the cooling load. I am not familiar with Nebraska. Here in PA, the cooling load typically out weighs the heating load. This means that the AC is sized for the home but the heat pump is not. If the unit were sized for the heating load, the AC would be far too large and would cause significant comfort and efficiency issues. For this reason a back up heat source is typically installed to make up for the difference between the heating and cooling load. This is very much dependent upon your specific home and the climate trends in your area. A load calculation needs to be preformed so that you can accurately assess your situation. That being said, i would use electric back up over propane... well in my area. Here propane is expensive so it is usually avoided. It depends on the price in your area. Geo is a good suggestion and there are still tax credits for the installation. i believe up to 30%. You would still likely have to supplement with electric heat. In short, there is no easy answer. You need to get a load calc done so that you can properly size you equipment but also so that you can set a balance point for your equipment and get the maximum efficiency from it. You should find out what you typically pay for propane as well. collect all of the data and then make a determination. good luck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Portland OR
    Posts
    1,977
    Quote Originally Posted by TwincamDave View Post
    If you can afford the install cost GEO Thermal would be the way to go. It's pricey though.
    I would at least consider this option since propane is incredibly expensive and as mentioned if nebraska is a heated dominated area you may need 2 tons of cooling and 4 tons of heat which means a lot of propane backup. You might also want to consider electric as a backup instead of propane. At todays rates in my area electric is a lower cost backup. Also with a heat pump and propane you can only run one or the other, so when the heat pump can't keep up it shuts down and gas turns on. With a heat pump and electric backup, the heat pump will always run and provide some efficient heat.

    What is your current heat loss/gain on the home
    What do you pay for propane and electric
    Answering those will at least give us a place to start on the comparison.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    12
    Thank you all for the advises and tips.

    I spoke to the builder and he himself uses heatpump with electric as backup fuel in his property so he said that is what he will install UNLESS buyer (us) wants something else. His subcontractor uses Comfortmaker brand. Is this brand good? Efficient? Reliable? He will install 14 SEER and about 8.5 HSPF. Is that good enough? Please advice. Thanks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    West Chester, PA
    Posts
    511
    comfortmaker is a carrier product, if i'm not mistaken. The efficiency is what it is. a 14 seer trane is the same efficiency as a 14 seer carrier. Don't know about the overall product but most equipment's 'quality' is dependent more on the installation and less on the equipment itself. The unit proposed is somewhat in the 'middle of the road' it isn't builder grade but it isn't premium either.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    33
    This is the Ask Our Pro's forum, and only Pro members that have been vetted by the AOPC may post advise, commentary, or ask questions of the OP here. Please apply to the AOPC today, thank you.

    You can find the rules for posting and qualifications here.

    Further infractions may result in loss of posting privileges.
    Last edited by beenthere; 01-09-2013 at 04:51 PM. Reason: Non Pro * member

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,909
    TXTech1, this is the Ask Our Pro's forum, and only Pro members that have been vetted by the AOPC may post advise, commentary or ask questions of the OP here. Please apply to the AOPC today, thank you.

    You can find the rules for posting and qualifications here.

    Your post has been deleted.
    Further infractions may result in loss of posting privileges.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Portland OR
    Posts
    1,977
    Comfort maker is ok but I would go with a higher HSPF, especially in your cold area and maybe look into the two stage units. Many two stage units are 10HSPF and will provide much more comfort.
    Check out my YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/skyheating1 We have customer testimonials, product reviews and more!
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    Most of Nebraska is pretty extreme. Both very cold and very hot, but it's definitely a heating climate. I'd want a HSPF of at least 10, and seal, seal seal and insulate, insulate, insulate. Personally even if it require cutting the quare footage by 10-20%, I'd want my heat loss <30k in design conditions... which for much of Neraka I think is 0 to -10F. Then you put in plenty of shade and deep roof overhangs, and a 2 stag 2 ton zoned system is plenty.

    The BEST system IMO is water to water geo using radiant floor heat and a small zoned air handler to cover small load variations and for AC and for a HRV and whole house dehumidifier. You can still use radiant cooling if you can control humidity levels.

    Geo really is ideal in your climate because you temps are so low most of hte winter that air soruce heat pump won't be that efficient.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Metro Atlanta
    Posts
    777
    Quote Originally Posted by GoHuskers View Post
    Hello ALL experts,

    We are building our new home in Nebraska. it is outside of city limit so NO natural gas but electric only. We currently have Bryant 80 12 SEER dual source (gas as a backup source) heat pump for 12 years and are pretty happy with it.

    Since we have NO natural gas will the electric heatpump alone good enough? If we want gas we need to use portable propane tank which we are not so sure about. What unit would be efficient? It will be a ranch house with about 1800 sq ft.

    Thank you so much.

    I would go the dual fuel route if it was me. You can get a propane tank and then install bushes around it to hide it. I am not a fan of electric heat because electric heat is very expensive.

    Yes geo thermal and solar / sun systems are as well, but they are so expensive that you need a mortgage to afford it.

    IMO, Comfort maker is ok.
    The opinions expressed by me are not that of my employer.


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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Portland OR
    Posts
    1,977
    Quote Originally Posted by NY2GA01 View Post
    I would go the dual fuel route if it was me. You can get a propane tank and then install bushes around it to hide it. I am not a fan of electric heat because electric heat is very expensive.

    Yes geo thermal and solar / sun systems are as well, but they are so expensive that you need a mortgage to afford it.

    IMO, Comfort maker is ok.
    Really? Propane is more than electric everywhere that I know of. Also as we mentioned before with propane around 30 degrees your heat pump SHUTS OFF and your on straight expensive propane anytime the temp is 29 or less, yet with a heat pump the heat pump is still about a 2.5-3 COP at 30 degrees and uses electric as a SUPPLEMENT so no electric is not more expensive. The only reason propane can be nice is that it can run a generator to run the furnace if there is a power outage.
    Second geo is very cost effective in many areas of the country, on the average new construction home here in Portland with at least 1 acre, there is less than a 5 year payback vs propane and AC or electric heat pump
    Check out my YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/skyheating1 We have customer testimonials, product reviews and more!
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    12
    The site to build is 4 acre close (150-200 feet) to a small lake in the middle of corn fields. I thought about Geothermal Heat pump but it seems VERY expensive.

    Can the pros tell me the cost of Heatpump vs. Geothermal heatpump (similar specs) so I can make better decision. Thank you so much.

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