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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    120

    Heat Pump in New York?

    I am thinking of going with the Hybrid Heat-Pump/Oil furnace route this winter. I live in New York State, lower portion of state.

    I have never even been in a house that I know of with a heat pump. I hear that the air comes out cold? Or feels cold? Does the house feel cold? Or is it just the air from the registers is not as warm as the furnace. As long as the house feels warm, thats my main concern.

    Is there anyone that has a heat pump in New York state that can comment on its performance above 35 degrees? I am hesistant to invest money in one if the house will not be comfortable.

    Most homes around here have oil heat, not very many heat pumps, so I figured the reason must be that heat pumps are not very good at heating real winter climates?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    466
    A proper set up heat pump with decent comfort controls will provide you with a warm home without the now extreme cost of fuel oil. Nationwide, oil heat is being looked at to be replaced with other types of heat.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    120
    Quote Originally Posted by everythingair View Post
    A proper set up heat pump with decent comfort controls will provide you with a warm home without the now extreme cost of fuel oil. Nationwide, oil heat is being looked at to be replaced with other types of heat.
    I wouldn't want to change unless I would definitely see utility bill savings over the winter. My electric rates are pretty high, ranges between 15 and 19 cents per kwhour. Fuel oil right now is $4.22 per gallon and about $5/gallon if a "lock in" rate is quoted.

    I only use about 375 gallons of fuel oil per year b/c my house is 1,000 square feet and I keep it at 67 degrees.

    Any cool websites or calculators that I can enter the above info and will approximate my savings?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    110
    Check out www.hallowell.com They claim comfotrtable, efficient operation down to -30.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,773
    The discharge air temp will not be as warm as your oil furnace.
    Since you keep your stat at 67°, you should see a good drop in your heating bill.
    Since you only use around 375 gallons of oil. Your savings won't be as much as in larger homes.

    But keep in mind, that oil could be 6 bucks a gallon in 2 years.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    466
    Heat pumps are being effectively used in colder Canadian climates, so there is no reason they won't do the job in the lower 48 of the U.S. Granted, there will always be the need for another heat source when the temperatures drop below freezing, but no matter what other heat source you use, a heat pump is going to help with your utility costs.

    I personally have saved by using a heat pump in lieu of my oil furnace. Last year, at 10.3 cents per kwh, I spent an additional $230 to use my heat pump. The oil usage savings was 250 gallons of oil at $3.25 per gallon. That is over $580 in energy costs I can put toward that heat pump installation. Even with the electric rates anticipating going to 13 to 14 cents soon, the lock in cost of oil right now is $4.98 a gallon, so there is no way I won't be saving even more next year.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    120
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    The discharge air temp will not be as warm as your oil furnace.
    Since you keep your stat at 67, you should see a good drop in your heating bill.
    Since you only use around 375 gallons of oil. Your savings won't be as much as in larger homes.

    But keep in mind, that oil could be 6 bucks a gallon in 2 years.
    I agree that oil prices are headed up and one of the reasons I am thinking of changing. But another is that my current AC is too large, so I could get a proper sized Heat pump that would make for better humidity removal in summer and then have the bonus of saving a little cash in winter. I am just a heat pump newbie though and a bit nervous about making the switch. I have never heated with anything but fuel oil.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,773
    You will be starting a trend in your neighbor hood.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    466
    You have very good reasons to change out your cooling system, so it will definitely benefit you to have a heat pump installed in its stead. Keep in mind that if you are not comfortable with the air temperature from the heat pump, there are many ways to have the oil furnace take over when you want it to. With a dual fuel system and the right types of controls, you can utlilize as much or as little of the heat pump as you are comfortable with.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    80
    I live a little further north than you and have propane as backup. It will work. Keep your eye on the prize - lowest BTU cost. Be sure your home is tight and efficient first, then go after upgrading your heat.

    Check out this heating cost comparison calc. It may help you mix and match different types of HPs with your oil furnace backup versus just your oil. Its not perfect, but you can personalize the numbers for your application to give you a ballpark. I'm no expert so I stress the ballpark part. This spreadsheet requires you to estimate usage of your system, and be sure to plug in a 13 SEER HP as 12s are no longer sold.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewyourown View Post
    I wouldn't want to change unless I would definitely see utility bill savings over the winter. My electric rates are pretty high, ranges between 15 and 19 cents per kwhour. Fuel oil right now is $4.22 per gallon and about $5/gallon if a "lock in" rate is quoted.

    I only use about 375 gallons of fuel oil per year b/c my house is 1,000 square feet and I keep it at 67 degrees.

    Any cool websites or calculators that I can enter the above info and will approximate my savings?
    Cost of 1 million btus:

    Oil at $5/gallon, 80% efficient furnace:
    (1,000,000 / 139,000) x 5 / .8
    = $44.96

    Heat pump with electricity at 19 cents per kw-hr, COP = 3.25 at 35F ambient:
    (1,000,000 / 3413) x .19 / 3
    = $18.56

    Straight resistance electric heat:
    (1,000,000 / 3413) x .19
    = $55.56

    The heat pump would be 242% cheaper to run than the oil furnace (44.96/18.56). Below the balance point of the house (32F ambient or so), supplimental heat would be required. In your case, oil is still cheaper than electric resistance heat.

    Good luck.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    120
    Quote Originally Posted by gary_g View Post
    Cost of 1 million btus:

    Oil at $5/gallon, 80% efficient furnace:
    (1,000,000 / 139,000) x 5 / .8
    = $44.96

    Heat pump with electricity at 19 cents per kw-hr, COP = 3.25 at 35F ambient:
    (1,000,000 / 3413) x .19 / 3
    = $18.56

    Straight resistance electric heat:
    (1,000,000 / 3413) x .19
    = $55.56

    The heat pump would be 242% cheaper to run than the oil furnace (44.96/18.56). Below the balance point of the house (32F ambient or so), supplimental heat would be required. In your case, oil is still cheaper than electric resistance heat.

    Good luck.
    Thanks! Great info there. I didn't realize it was THAT much cheaper to run a heat pump. I guess the real question is just how many days are below the balance point of the house. I'll have to try and locate some historical data.

    Could you define "balance point of the house" for me? Also, I am unsure what COP stands for as well, you wrote COP=3.25 at 35 degrees F.

    Again, thanks for the time put into the calcs.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    80
    Quote Originally Posted by brewyourown View Post
    Could you define "balance point of the house" for me? Also, I am unsure what COP stands for as well, you wrote COP=3.25 at 35 degrees F.
    COP=Coefficient of Performance

    Google for Heat Pump Coefficient of Performance to help educate yourself on heat pump theory and the terms. Check out Goodman Heat Pumps on their website as they include the COP values for different temperatures. I don't endorse them, they're just a site that includes those numbers for their units freely. Also look up Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) as you will see that used.

    Basically as the outside temperature declines, the HPs performance goes down. Below some point, call it the balance point, it won't be able to supply the needed BTUs to maintain temperature. At that point you'll need supplemental heat.

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