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Thread: HVAC options

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    HVAC options

    I have a 1100 sq ft (main floor) rambler with full unfinished basement. Located in central MN
    I have a fuel oil boiler (baseboards hot water heat) and no AC

    Of all the different types of HVAC systems which would you recommend. I want off the fuel oil.

    I think I am willing to gut the baseboard, I don't like the looks of it and it takes up space so you cant up furniture up to the wall.

  2. #2
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    I would recommend you get the one thats sized properly, installed properly, and works properly.
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  3. #3
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    Jan 2004
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    Lancaster PA
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    Check your rates for natural gas, and compare them to electric. Or post them here.
    A dual fuel heatpump may be a good choice for you.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Check your rates for natural gas, and compare them to electric. Or post them here.
    A dual fuel heatpump may be a good choice for you.
    Current rates:
    Propane 2.299/gal
    Standard electric .072/kw
    Duel fuel electric .037/kw
    #2 fuel oil 4.239/gal

  5. #5
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    Lancaster PA
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    Does your posted LP rate, include tank rentals fees also.
    Do both of your posted electric rates include all transmition fees, taxes, etc.

    At the rates you posted.
    Your normal electric rate makes electric resistance heat is cheaper the oil or LP.

    A dual fuel hot air furnace with LP aux will save you considerably over your current oil boiler. If all fees are included with your posted rate.

    At posted rates, An 80% LP would be 15% less expensive to operate then a 82% efficient oil burner. A 90% LP would come out to 24%.
    And a dual fuel HP would be about 85% less expensive during the temps that the HP can handle the house load.

    This is at your posted rates.
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  6. #6
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    Central MN
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    The posted rates do not include any extra fees or taxes.

    Electric company estimated they interuped about 1000 hours last winter.

    I have been asking around and leaning toward an air source heat pump with a electric plenum heater (for extreme winter months) and a LP furnace for back up.
    I keep debating with myself if want to gut my existing system. It would be so easy to just tie in a mini boiler, but I would still be burning fuel oil and it does not give me AC

  7. #7
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    A HP with electric duct heater and a gas aux would be a special app.
    You might have trouble finding companies to install it and do a proper control of it. Let alone know how to work on it.
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  8. #8
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    Beenthere,
    In your first post you thought "a duel fuel heat pump may be good for me"
    Are you suggesting just two sources of heat, a heat pump and LP back up?
    A third (electric plenum heater) may get complicated?
    Thanks for your posts.

  9. #9
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    Yes. A dual fuel heat pump only has two(2) sourses of heat.
    The heat pump, and the fossel fuel.(LP gas in your case)

    Your idea would be a Tri fuel.

    Dual fuel controls, although not difficult to install and trouble shoot if there is a problem. Are misunderstood enough.
    A control system for 3 heat soourses would throw off 3 times as many installer/service techs.

    Since a heat pump only uses electric to pump heat in from the outside. Its heat sourse is not considered to be electric.
    Same as a gas furnace needs electric to run the blower, the electric is not considered part of the heat sourse.
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  10. #10
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    Central MN
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    Understood.

    There are a couple companies in the area that have installed a 3 source system. I will double check their level of experience and troubleshooting ability.

    I like that system because I would run the heat pump at a .037/kw rate till outside temps reached 10-15F then the electric plenum heater would kick in (shutting down the HP) still running at the .037/kw rate.
    If the electric company interrupts power the LP furnace would run on the .072/kw rate.

    In summer months the HP would be switched to cooling and run at the .072/kw rate.

    Make sense??

  11. #11
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    If you interested in a forced air system, go with a HP system. But the choice with an HP/electric standard price still might be better than fuel oil or LP!

    Off-peak does bring the operating cost lower, but then you need a fossil fuel furnace for backup, LP or oil or wood if you dare.

    With any system setup, i highly recommend a HP with a Plenum Heater at least.

    If you think about going back to a boiler, you could go with an LP boiler and perhaps an electric boiler for offpeak rates, but cooling would probably be another way, like ductless splits!

    In order to figure out your actual operating cost and have a correctly installed system, you need a Heat Load calc perform of your building (House) no matter what. Without it, it's like having a blind person installing your system; guessing at it!!!

  12. #12
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    Better check with your electric company, as far as if they will continue to give you the dual fuel rate if they find out your running electric strips also.

    I understand your logic though. And on paper it looks good. You just have to figufre out if the electric company will play ball.
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