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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    32

    secondary heat options

    My great aunt recently asked me for some input on what to replace her two propane heat/air conditioner units with. No, Im not a professional, but she knows of my interest in this board.

    The package units are both 10-12+ years old, and are on their final legs. The outrageously expensive propane (no NG option) is only used for heat, otherwise shes all-electric.
    Located east of Birmingham, AL by 60 miles, the electric rates are not bad, so I plan to advise her to go with heat pumps.

    Its the secondary heat I need your input on. I happen to think that electric strip heat is the most RELIABLE (if not the cheapest for her conditions). In her relatively mild winter climate, I just dont think of propane heat as a backup is worthwhile. And a propane dual-fuel package wouldnt amortize in a reasonable amount of time, considering the unknown prices of propane in the future.

    Do you concur?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Grottoes VA
    Posts
    5,856
    HP with electric back-up is the way to go.

    If I was that far south, I wouldn't even put electric heat in.

    Rheem does have a dual fuel packaged unit.
    Karst means cave. So, I search for caves.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,125
    Make sure she has enough electrical service for the strip heaters.
    Going to need aux heat for the defrost cycle atleast. Plus you have some hours that the HP might not handle the load by itself.
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