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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    46

    Electric Heat Optional on Rheem RBHM ???

    I was looking through my brochure for my RBHM Air Handler and I see "Electric Heat (optional)" listed.

    Can somebody tell me about this electric heat option? If I wanted to be able to use my CAC for heat in the winter, what would I have to add to this unit?

    Does it require just adding a part to the air handler that enables the heat option? Or does it require an entirely different device (like a furnace) to get the heat going?

    My current house has an oil fired furnace that heats my hot water for sinks/showers as well as my baseboards. I don't have a separate water heater and I have no gas in the house.

    With the price of oil moving up to $5 a gallon, I am looking for alternate ways of heating my house to save on oil. I don't mind using my oil for my hot water and showers since my oil bills in the summer are low.

    But in the winter I run though 100 gallons of oil a month. I like my house on the "colder" side, but last winter I had an issue where my baseboard heating pipes on the second floor froze (because I don't like to heat the upstairs if I dont have to). So I ended up running the heat up there just so they wouldn't freeze again. $$$$$$$$$

    Would it be feasable to use my RBHM to heat the house, and use my oil furnace for just my hot water to my showers and sinks? Trying to figure out how much this would cost to upgrade the RBHM to electric and how involved the project is.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,765
    Whats your electric rate.

    Would also require running a larger feed to the air handler.
    If your using 100 gallions of oil a month to heat your house. And your boiler is 80% efficient. It would take 3,281.57 KWs to equal the same heat using electric strip heaters.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The Twilight Zone
    Posts
    2,964
    A little late now, but you could have installed a heat pump instead of a straight a/c condenser. The oil furnace/baseboards could have been used as secondary heat on very cold days.

    The electric heat strip package is easily installed directly into the air handler.

    To figure if straight electric is more cost effective than oil for heating, you need to know the delivered price (generation + transmission + distribution) of electricity.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    46
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Whats your electric rate.

    Would also require running a larger feed to the air handler.
    If your using 100 gallions of oil a month to heat your house. And your boiler is 80% efficient. It would take 3,281.57 KWs to equal the same heat using electric strip heaters.

    3,281 KWh per month? Wow. That will probably be too much then. During the summer months I don't think I use more than 1300 KWhs per month.

    My rate is about 18cents per KWH after you factor in all the power supply surcharges and junk fees. (Long Island)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,765
    Oil per 1,000,000 BTUs output at 80% efficiency and $5.00 a gallion is $43.60
    Elcetric strip heaters same output at $0.18 per KWH is $52.70
    A heat pump at a COP of 2.5 at same electric rate is $21.10

    Of course a heat pump would need an aux heat sourse when the OD temps dropped below balance point.
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