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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Apple Valley, Minnesota
    Posts
    5

    Heat Pump vs Furnace (AFUE 92 plus)

    Existing system: Furnace - 25 years old
    A/C - 20 years old

    The furnace works fine but A/C does not cool (needs recharging).
    Since the furnace is probably overdue to be replace, I have decided to replace both the furnace and the A/C with more efficent Heat/Pump and variable speed air control (gas furnace, %80 - %90 AFUE). I am trying to determine which system combination would save me the most in combined fuel cost.

    Is there a web site that I can input the SEER, AFUE, the energy cost (gas and electric) and the zone for which I live in and give me the operating cost. I have hear of one that can calculate pay back time, but can not locate it. It would be nice if the site would allow me to compare two systems (existing and new for example). I live in Minnesota and I am wondering if a heat pump is worth it. Or should I replace the furnace with a 92 plus AFUE.

    I am open for any suggestion.
    Thanks
    Ex Texan in Minnesota

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The Twilight Zone
    Posts
    2,964

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    East Grand Forks, MN
    Posts
    1,375
    Is there a web site that I can input the SEER, AFUE, the energy cost (gas and electric) and the zone for which I live in and give me the operating cost. I have hear of one that can calculate pay back time, but can not locate it. It would be nice if the site would allow me to compare two systems (existing and new for example). I live in Minnesota and I am wondering if a heat pump is worth it. Or should I replace the furnace with a 92 plus AFUE.
    not really! Not an annual operating cost of your particular house! you need to know your Heat Loss and Heat Gain first!
    Secondly, you need to know your fuel cost and electric rates.

    Heat Pumps are definitely worth it if you don't have nat gas in MN!


    Sorry, this does not give you your Annual operating cost!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Apple Valley, Minnesota
    Posts
    5

    Update

    For those that may be interested, I found this site. If you use it, you need to select Energy Cost (on left) and enter your energy cost.

    http://www.energydepot.com/pgect/heatcool_1.asp

    It is from Portland General Electric.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,759
    Its not a good calc.
    There is a lot more to estimating fuel/energy usage then what little info they ask for.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Apple Valley, Minnesota
    Posts
    5
    Its not a good calc.
    There is a lot more to estimating fuel/energy usage then what little info they ask for.
    You are right, but at least it gives me a base line to work with. I really need one that takes into consideration that I live in Minnesota. There are a lot more heating days here in Minnesota than in Portland.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,759
    Your contractor should be able to do one for you that is closer to reality.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Posts
    35
    You also have to consider what you have for servicing into the home. You probrably only have a 100 Amp electrical panel and would have to step up to higher electrical lines, panel upgrades. You already have gas so why add the extra costs of converting. Heat pumps are more readilly used in milder climates like Vancouver, Seatle, Florida and not as much in colder markets like Michigan. I live in Vancouver BC and they are very popular here because we only have snow two weeks a year and the lowest electrical rates in North America. Stay with the Gas furnace and heat pump or air conditioner.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cedar Grove, Wi-Sheboygan
    Posts
    1,582
    "You probrably only have a 100 Amp electrical panel and would have to step up to higher electrical lines" Just curious why would he have to upgrade his panel if he were to only have a 100 amp panel ? I know someone who lives in PLymouth, WI and has the Infinity Hybrid heat system and said it is the best thing he every did was to have a heatpump with his Infinity NG furnace.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Posts
    35
    Lets say you have a 3 ton heat pump which requires a 30 amp circuit plus a 10 kilowatt electric heater which is probrably at another 40 amps, electric dryer, range, lighting - a 100 amp panel probrably would not dut it on a cold Christmas day with the heat pump, electric heaters and stove cooking the Christmas turkey. No problem with just the heat pump and the gas furnace and not the electric strip heaters.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,759
    What effect does his gas range and oven have on an electric heat pump.

    What if he has an electric water heater, will it still be ok on the other days.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Apple Valley, Minnesota
    Posts
    5
    You also have to consider what you have for servicing into the home. You probrably only have a 100 Amp electrical panel and would have to step up to higher electrical lines, panel upgrades. You already have gas so why add the extra costs of converting. Heat pumps are more readilly used in milder climates like Vancouver, Seatle, Florida and not as much in colder markets like Michigan. I live in Vancouver BC and they are very popular here because we only have snow two weeks a year and the lowest electrical rates in North America. Stay with the Gas furnace and heat pump or air conditioner.
    Service is not a problem (150 amps) plus I have gas. The system I am looking at is a dual-fuel system. The pay back would be about 8 to 10 years at current prices. But I should still be here well past that time. With oil prices going up, I suspect that natural gas price may increase also in the future. The electric company I am with is a co-opt and gets its power from coal and nuclear plants so I suspect that electric prices will not increase as fast as natural gas. This was the reason for looking at a dual-fuel system. The heat pump only works down to about 20 to 30 degrees. Below that, the gas furnace comes on. Supposedly this is a very efficient set up. HOWEVER, I have gotten 3 estimates that were a lot higher that I expected. It looks like that I will just replace the 28 year old furnace with a 92 plus AFUE furnace and get the 20 year old A/C repaired.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,759
    Check to see if your electric company has any rebates for high efficiency equipment.
    Your gas may also have a discount.
    A new HP now also saves you money on your cooling bill, so your pay back may be a little quicker then you may have thought.
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    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

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