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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Westchester Co, NY
    Posts
    104

    Efficient system

    Good evening all,

    I am finally starting my house remodel and am still stuck on the HVAC system. I would like some ideas for efficient systems in this time of oil madness. THe only systems i know are oil boilers so would love some other suggestions....

    I live in southern NY state. I pay Nyseg a total of ~19 cents a KWH for Juice. I do not have natural gas in my area - and am not sure about propane.

    I am remodeling my house and making it as efficient as possible (cellulose insuation, air sealing etc) I also would like to do radiant if possible in the downstairs

    I have looked and GEO and it will not work on my property at any reasonable cost

    I am open to anything from heat pumps, to oil boilers, to what ever else is out there that would save some recurring costs and make sense. I will be intalling a wood burning stove and probabally solar panels for hot water.

    Has anyone installed or had experiance with the Hallowell heat pump?


    I would love to hear what systems would work and what my options are.


    thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Westchester Co, NY
    Posts
    104
    Any thoughts on my delima....

    thanks all

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    17
    I would go with a Heat pump system of some kind. A heat pump with an electric furnace is probably your best bet. You could go with a hybrid system (heat pump and a gas furnace... Propane in your case).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,097
    What kind of heat emmiters do you have.
    Cast Iron rads. Or copper fin baseboard.

    Heres one thing you could have installed.
    A heat pump with enough strip heat for defrost. With a hydro coil on top of the air handler.
    That would give you a dual fuel system. And let you take advantage of the heat pump at all temps that it is more efficient then the boiler, plus let you use the boiler to give you the warmer air, when it 0°F outside.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Westchester Co, NY
    Posts
    104
    I am looking to install radiant heat on ground floor, with hot air on 2 floor.

    Been there - I am not sure i follow what you are saying ( excuse the lack of experiance on heatpumps)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    68,097
    A heat pump will provide heat for less then you oil boiler does. As outdoor temp drops they provide less heat, and require a secondary source of heat. A hyrocoil hooked to your boiler can provide this additional heat.

    The electric heater would be for defrost only, so that you don't fire up a large boiler for just 4 or 5 minutes.

    Get some contractors out to give you estimates. And show them this thread, they will understand. And be able to explain it.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Westchester Co, NY
    Posts
    104
    Hi again. So i have spoken to two reputable installers in the area. One is for a high efficiency oil unit. (High 80's) The other is proposing a high efficient propane unit. ( 95&#37

    Both of them seem to think that a heat pump with a secondary heat system would not be cost effective as you are installing 2 systems - giving you an additional payback.

    Also - I have spoken to quite a few people in my area and the general feeling is that heat pumps are not really a great idea in this area. I am not against them - however i am not sure pushing a contractor to install a product he is not familiar with may not serve me well.

    From all my calculations on historical prices (97- 08), Oil has been more cost effective (BTU/Dollar) than propane, until this year (In southern NY State). The one thing that is leaning me more towards propane is that we want to install a gas stove top, dryer and bbq hook up. Is this enough of a reason to move to propane - other than this, i don't see a benefit at this point?

    I would love some comments from everyone - I really need to decide in the next few days

    thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    4,229
    In upstate New York a heat pump is of no use except for a few weeks out of the year. I would stick with a 90+ natural gas furnace. Unless you are on 3 phase electic service and your electic rates are cheaper than they are in Colorado

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    68,097
    Your right not to try and force a contractor to install equipment he is not familar with.

    I'd call a couple more contractors and screen them over the phone. If they don't do heat pumps, don't waste their time or yours.

    LP has to be considerably lower priced per gallon then oil to make it cheaper then oil, even at 90+% efficiency.

    Are you going to buy your own tank. Or pay the LP compant rent for a tank. They charge the rent per gallon you use.

    Have you called any LP companies yet.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Denver, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Your right not to try and force a contractor to install equipment he is not familar with.

    I'd call a couple more contractors and screen them over the phone. If they don't do heat pumps, don't waste their time or yours.

    LP has to be considerably lower priced per gallon then oil to make it cheaper then oil, even at 90+% efficiency.

    Are you going to buy your own tank. Or pay the LP compant rent for a tank. They charge the rent per gallon you use.

    Have you called any LP companies yet.
    Would you think a heat pump in upstate New York would be cost efficive?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    68,097
    Sure.

    Your only thinking of the coldest times of winter.
    They have a lot of days that they need heat, that a heat pump will be able to provide all the heat they need, and cost less then oil or propane.
    1,000,000 BTUs oil, at $4.00 a gal, and 85% efficient $33.60
    1,000,000 BTUs LP, at $2.75 a gal, and 95% efficient $31.50
    1,000,000 BTUs HP, at $0.20 A KWH at A COP of 3 $19.50
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Denver, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Sure.

    Your only thinking of the coldest times of winter.
    They have a lot of days that they need heat, that a heat pump will be able to provide all the heat they need, and cost less then oil or propane.
    1,000,000 BTUs oil, at $4.00 a gal, and 85% efficient $33.60
    1,000,000 BTUs LP, at $2.75 a gal, and 95% efficient $31.50
    1,000,000 BTUs HP, at $0.20 A KWH at A COP of 3 $19.50
    Cool thanks for the info

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Westchester Co, NY
    Posts
    104
    i spent last night and this morning researching the historical prices of oil Vs propane in southern NY state since 97-08. Assuming an oil boiler at 85% and propane at 95% it has been more cost effective to use propane since jan '05. At this time the average gap between oil and propane widened to >22 cents on the gallon and has not come back since.

    It was not until march of this year that we have seen for the first time a consistant period where BTU's per dollar of oil went below that of propane. THis is still holding augest, so the chances are that it will not retract much as we now are approaching the heating season

    So I guess what i am saying is that from what i have read on here and other forums, alot of people look at the BTU's Per dollar - which is KEY to determine costs. This, however has only shown an advantage this past year. BUT, if you also look at the simple cost of purchasing equivelent BTU's of heating fuel, Propane gradually caught up to oil in 04 and surpassed it in 05. Obvivously this was directly due to the sharper increase in oil and propane rising at a more conservative rate.

    SO - I guess my decision is made. Hydronic Gas fired boiler, with indirect HW, and solar thermal panels

    thanks

    P.S. all pricing data I used was compliments of NYSERDA

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