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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    bucks county
    Posts
    4

    Considering heat pump instead of oil furnace

    I live in Pennsylvania in a two story house that is approximately 2500 square feet. I currently have an oil furnace, 81 afue, with oil prices around 4.50 a gallon. I generally use between 700 to 900 gallons of oil a year. My oil furnace as well as my outside air conditioner is approximately 11 to 12 years old and I'm interested in replacing both. Reason is, during the winter months my electric bill is approximately $300 not counting in the $300 a month I put away year round to pay for oil. My neighbors are paying mid to low $200's for just electric heat.

    Is it worth it for me to replace both systems and get a heat pump and air handler(with electric backup) for my basement?

    I am looking for high efficiency and willing to pay if the cost is worth it. Any recommendation on what brand and units I should buy?

    Also, I've had one estimate so far and the technician recommended converting to a 2 zone system. Is that appropriate as my upstairs is generally different in tempature to the first floor? I apparently have from the basement a vent that lead solely to the second floor.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,586
    You have a 300 dollar a month electric bill in the winter, and you have oil heat?

    Whats your electric bill in the summer.

    Whats your electric rate.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    PA/DE area
    Posts
    1,535
    In our area of PA we get a BIG BREAK on electric from PECO 6 cents above 600KW 8 months out of the year.We install Heat pumps on almost every LP and oil heater we see.
    It's NOT the BRAND,it's the company that installs it!!!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    bucks county
    Posts
    4
    I live in bucks county and i'm not at home with my peco bills but yes I pay $280 to almost $300 in August & September for air conditioning and the same for January, February, and March. So my total utilities for electric and oil payments is practically $600 a month.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,586
    I'd have to use almost 3,000 KWH to get a bill that high.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    va
    Posts
    800
    Quote Originally Posted by heatpumpguru View Post
    In our area of PA we get a BIG BREAK on electric from PECO 6 cents above 600KW 8 months out of the year.We install Heat pumps on almost every LP and oil heater we see.
    Yes.....keep the oil furnace, but add the heat pump and set the outside stat for 28 degrees.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    118
    Hello.
    Here is a very interesting link to an all climate heat pump. I looked into handling these at one point. They're potentially very cost effective with discounted electricity, although they're a little pricey. The offerings are limited to 3 and 4 ton units. Technical data is available on the site as well. As the technology improves, hopefully the price will start to drop to the point where they are an option for many more installations. Here in upstate NY electricity is 17-18 cents per KW and these units just about break even. There is a contact tab to get further information.

    www.gotohallowell.com

    Good luck with your project.
    Greg

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Bucks Co PA
    Posts
    367
    Quote Originally Posted by heatpumpguru View Post
    In our area of PA we get a BIG BREAK on electric from PECO 6 cents above 600KW 8 months out of the year.We install Heat pumps on almost every LP and oil heater we see.
    Yeah, Peco is great

    BTW, Thanks Guru for the referral. Got three estimates and am going with the referral. Very knowledgeable and very thorough.
    .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    bucks county
    Posts
    4
    If the professionals don't mind I would like to post my quotes as they come for your imputs/advice since you guys are the pros.

    First quote:
    Trane XL16i stage two heat pump(4TWX6048) - I asked about the 19i and was told there are problems with them
    Trane variable speed air handler(4TEE3D49)
    seer rating of 15.50 and a HSPF of 9.10
    -he did not take a calc or test anything, measured a few pieces of duct work connected the to furnace
    He also suggested and priced turning the system into two zone for 1st & 2nd floor. Is that necessary as its about an additional 20%?

    I forgot to mention before that our house is about 27 yrs old.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,586
    The 16i, is a poor choice for a heat pump in PA.
    The 15i is a better choice. Its a single stage, but has better BTU performance then the 16i.

    The 19i's defrost problems are suppose to be fixed. And is a beeter choice for a HP in PA also.

    If your contractor claims other wise about the 16i, have him should you the BTU putput for it and the 15i and 19i at 17°F.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The Twilight Zone
    Posts
    2,964
    Quote Originally Posted by rauchplus2 View Post
    Trane XL16i stage two heat pump(4TWX6048) - ......
    Trane variable speed air handler(4TEE3D49)
    seer rating of 15.50 and a HSPF of 9.10
    American Refrigeration Institute (ARI) #1236573.
    47,500 btu cooling, 11.2 EER, 15.5 SEER, 43,000 btu heating at 47F, 9.1 HSPF, 27,600 btu heating at 17F.

    The heating btu's are week for a 4 ton (5000 less than a full 48,000 btu at the rated 47F). The EER is poor for such a high end unit (12 is good).
    Just so you know.

    www.ARIdirectory.org.

    Good luck.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,586
    And why didn't you post for a 15, and a 19i.

    Slacker.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The Twilight Zone
    Posts
    2,964
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    And why didn't you post for a 15, and a 19i.

    Slacker.


    15i with same (4TEE3D49) air handler:
    ARI# 1385061.
    47,500 btu cooling, 12 EER, 14.5 SEER, 49,500 btu heating at 47F, 9 HSPF, 30,800 btu heating at 17F.

    These numbers are outstanding. Heating btu's at 47F are 1500 more than a full 4 tons, and 6500 more btu than the 16i. Heating btu's at 17F are also much better (3000 btu more).

    19i with 2TEE3D49 air handler:
    ARI# 1481694.
    47,000 btu cooling, 11 EER, 16.5 SEER, 44,000 btu heating at 47F, 8.5 HSPF, 24,800 btu heating at 17F.

    Not great numbers for such a hi-tech system.

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