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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    1

    Help! Confused about propane and heat pumps!

    I currently have a 3,000 square foot home heated by propane. The bills are enormous in the winter! I have been doing a lot of reading about converting to a heat pump and keeping my propane secondary. Does anyone have any suggestions for this? In the past, heat pumps were always getting a "bad" rap. However, I believe they are made much more efficient now. I only use propane for heat.

    Has anyone done this and can comment on their satisfaction level with the heat pump? Does the heat pump run continuously? Have you seen a decline in your monthly expenses? Do you feel that your home is warm?

    I am sorry if these questions sounds elementary, but I am such a novice when it comes to this. Thank you for any information!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    551
    Heat Pump with propane furnace backup is a great idea for your situation. My parents have the same setup with a carrier performance heat pump and 93% efficient propane furnace and love it.

    How long the heat pump will run cannot just be answered. It will depend on the outside temperatures, heat loss of your home, and capacity of the heat pump. On average, the heat pump should be able to handle the heating of your home down to around 30 degrees. Your propane would only run during the really cold stretches and you'd save a ton in the fall and spring seasons and a fair amount during winter, too. Sometimes, a heat pump can carry a house down to 15-20 degrees saving even more money.

    In order to form a good answer, you need to find your electric rates, the cost of propane (per gallon), the efficiency of whatever propane furnace you want to use, and find out if your electric company will provide you a rate reduction for having a heat pump (many do). You might need a new furnace to guarantee performance ratings of the heat pump, though.

    If you can bring back that information, you can start getting a grasp of how much $$$ you can potentially save.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,673

    for equal energy output

    1.1 gal of propane,
    29 kwh of elec heat,
    8.4 kwh of heat pump heat (COP = 3.5),
    4.2 kwh of heat pump heat (COP = 6.9)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The Twilight Zone
    Posts
    2,964
    Dual-fuel systems can be a great way to go.

    What are you paying for propane (in $$ per gallon)?

    What is your delivered cost of electricity? Delivered price = generation + transmission + distribution.

    Note that a heat pump does not put out the 120F+ air temp that a furnace does. To some people that's a big deal. To others, no big deal.

    Take care.


    Edit: I live in Harford County, MD, and have an all-electric home with a new heat pump. BGE's delivered rates are about $.15 per kw-hr. I switched to Washington Gas and Electric to save about 1.5 cents per kw-hr.
    Last edited by gary_g; 11-04-2009 at 04:45 PM. Reason: Added edit

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Stumptown,USA
    Posts
    1,253
    What about a Ground Loop heat pump? I would see if any contractors in the area are doing these and get an estimate. Initial installation will be more money but very efficient to operate. I thought that a lot of contractors near the east coast did boilers with radiators.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,793
    Whats your electric rate, and whats your LP cost.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  7. #7
    I am new to the site. I am looking at buying either a Heil 14.5 seer or an Amana 15.0 Seer. Does anyone have an opinion on which is best?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,793
    Please start your own thread, instead of hi jacking someone elses.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Baltimore MD and Ridgebury PA
    Posts
    542
    I have a dual-fuel setup as well... except I have oil rather than propane. You'd think living in Baltimore that natural gas would be available... nope. I am very happy with my dual-fuel system and yes, it will save you money. How much really depends on the current prices for electricity (nearly $0.16 now for BGE) and propane which tend to vary from year to year. The company I work for installs Heat Pumps with Propane Furnaces quite often in this area. How many furnaces do you currently have for your home? I'm assuming you have at least two for a 3,000 sq ft house.

    If you would like more information on your options feel free to email me... my address is in my profile.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Poestenkill, NY
    Posts
    769
    I have dual fuel with heat Pump and Propane 2-stage furnace as back up. Love it. Saving money like crazy, and I feel like I got central air as a free bonus.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Poestenkill, NY
    Posts
    769
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Please start your own thread, instead of hi jacking someone elses.
    I am quite hungry. Should I get a sub, or have pizza (again)?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,793
    Quote Originally Posted by larobj63 View Post
    I am quite hungry. Should I get a sub, or have pizza (again)?
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    How-to-apply-for-Professional

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

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The Twilight Zone
    Posts
    2,964
    Kirk:

    I replied to your e-mail.

    Take care.

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