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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    44

    Pros, are your customers happy with heat pumps?

    Actually pros or customers, feel free to comment.

    My wife doesn't like the idea of a heat pump. Her grandmother who lived in the N. Georgia mountains had one and every time my wife would visit her, she says she nearly froze to death. Per my wife, all it did was put out cold air. This was probably 20 years ago btw.

    We're in the Atlanta area where we have some pretty cold weather at times in winter, and we also have those hot summers. I would do a duel fuel system with an 80% variable speed furnace if I went with a heat pump.

    Without getting too heavily into politics, from what I've seen electrical rates might be hit harder than natural gas rates by a Cap and Trade program since so many power plants depend on coal. We have good electrical rates now, but if they did go up substantially in the future, a heat pump might not look like such a good investment.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    ot a pro, but I'll offer my $0.02.

    A heat pump 20 years ago is probably not the same animal as one today. I'm running my heat pump at 350CFM/ton which increases the supply temp a few degrees. In 45F weather, I can't tell a huge difference between my furnace on 1st stage and my heat pump on first stage. The heat rise on the heat pump is around 30F and the furnace is around 38F.

    In many cases the heat pump will run a little longer than the furnace so you should get more even temperatures.

    You can set your heat pump lockout a little higher for comfort as well. So on colder windier days, you'd be using the furnace.


    But, you may want to run some numbers with different electric rates. Maybe add 20% to the the elctric rates and see if there is still a 8-10 year payback on the increased cost of the heat pump oiver A/C.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Palmdale, CA
    Posts
    199
    I don't know about Atlanta but here in Palmdale, California a heat pump is not good. High bill for gas during heating season about $90-$120 high bill for heat pump (electrical) $300-$600. Only a few heatpumps installed around here and not by choice these are installed into apartment buildings. Out in my area it is a no brainer no heat pump.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Corsicana, Texas, United States
    Posts
    151
    I like them so well, I put one on my house. Had straight electric heat before, and I have seen a drastic change in my electric bill, for the better, because of it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,347
    I would never recommend a heat pump go into a house that is inadequately insulated and sealed. I would highly recommend a heat pump go into almost any house that has straight electric heat only...if the house is well insulated and sealed. Dual fuel systems would hinge on local natural gas rates...and once again how well the house is insulated and sealed. Notice a pattern, here?
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,673
    Quote Originally Posted by shophound View Post
    I would never recommend a heat pump go into a house that is inadequately insulated and sealed.
    Can you give an infiltration rate and R value?
    I guess it also depends on the 97.5 percentile outside temps.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Palmdale, CA
    Posts
    199
    The key in his post is he had straight electric heat. If you have natural gas at least in my area it is best to use natural gas.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    11,347

    *

    Quote Originally Posted by steve f View Post
    My wife doesn't like the idea of a heat pump.
    that should be the end of the story for you

    i myself, when living in middle Tennessee maintained 72 degrees throughout the winter, using a heat pump

    even when it got down to 2 degrees

    i don't who the heck that guy from California was using for his heating contractor

    but he needs to find a new guy

    if the insulation in the house is terrible, no matter what kind of system you get, fix the insulation

    also, if a heat pump is not hooked up properly, its not gonna work properly



    .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,347
    Quote Originally Posted by WhoIsThat? View Post
    Can you give an infiltration rate and R value?
    I guess it also depends on the 97.5 percentile outside temps.
    I would run a heat load calc on the house in question, then use that data along with the ARI performance data for the heat pump in question to find my thermal balance point for the house. It may be useful to run a calc for the house as is, and another one for the house with improved insulation and reduced infiltration, to see the extent the thermal improvements affect the thermal balance point.

    Thermal balance point is defined as a state where the heat pump is producing as much heat to the house as the structure is losing through its envelope to the outdoors. When a heat pump is the sole source for heat, it is an efficient source of heat. When it must bring on auxiliary electric heat to keep the house from dropping below setpoint, the efficiency tanks. With a well insulated house, the balance point can occur at a considerably lower outdoor temperature than with the same house inadequately insulated.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    322
    About two custmors out of ten like heat pumps they usualy have smaller homes. All the others that dont like them all have the same thing to say they blow cold air. Myself I think if you are total electeic go with heat pump here in Oklahoma the natural gas is pretty cheap if you can get it which most people want.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    north of 49
    Posts
    233
    I'm in Canada and the weather can be harsh at times. I find the biggest problem with heat pump installs in my area is that contractors do fine job of convincing people about the theory and principal of the beast, they just don't go far enough and peoples expectations don't get met. That cool air blowing when the pump cant keep up is something they don't get use to. It's not like my old furnce is the biggest complaint. I guess that's because it never was meant to be a furnace. It was designed, in colder climates anyway, to be a suppliant and never a primary heating sourse.
    TL

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    1,840
    I have a heat pump in my house before that electric heat/ have cut my electric in HALF- in my part of the county and looking at my electirc bill you could not kill me to take my heat pump away!! The only people I do not sell heat pumps to are people who have had gas heat before and not heat pump heat - like older folks- it ain't ever hot enuff for them and ya get cALL BACKS ALL THE TIME OF IT NOT OPERATING PROPERLY

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    11,347

    *

    Quote Originally Posted by trout lake View Post
    I'm in Canada and the weather can be harsh at times. I find the biggest problem with heat pump installs in my area is that contractors do fine job of convincing people about the theory and principal of the beast, they just don't go far enough and peoples expectations don't get met. That cool air blowing when the pump cant keep up is something they don't get use to. It's not like my old furnce is the biggest complaint. I guess that's because it never was meant to be a furnace. It was designed, in colder climates anyway, to be a suppliant and never a primary heating sourse.
    TL

    that cold air blowing means you have the wrong equipment, or its not installed properly

    one of the reasons heat pumps get a bad rap is because some contractor's installing them are not informed enough, or too lazy, or in too much of a rush to do the job properly

    if i lived in Canada, and i was gonna use a heat pump, it would only be a 2 speed Geothermal (oversized slightly) with auxillary heat (in case of breakdown) or a Dual Fuel system

    that way there would be no cold air blowing, cause either the heat pump would keep up

    or furnace would automatically kick in if the heat pump could not keep up

    ofcourse fuels would automatically switch over with the proper controls



    .

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