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  1. #1
    we are building a new house with gas heat downstairs and a heat pump for the upstairs. there will be about 1688sq ft dwn and 827 sq ft up. there will be a vaulted great room and hardwood floors downstairs. our builder recommends a gas pack downstairs and a heat pump upstairs. should we do a heat pump downstairs as well since gas prices are so high? my wife doesn't think heat pumps can do the job because of previous experience with one, but i don't know much about it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    1,841
    Where do you live at?

  3. #3
    sorry, raleigh, nc

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    1,841
    Heat pump up & down.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Ft.Worth,Tx
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    4,584
    Why not have the best of both? (Duel Fuel)

    Have a furnace installed with duel fuel kit and heat pump outside,the only time you would need gas is when temperature drops below 25*..

    Check out http://www.am-stdcomfort.com
    "Everyday above ground, is a good day".
    "But everyday that you have made a difference in someones life, may insure you stay above ground a little longer".<aircooled>

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    7,680
    HP up and down is my recommendation as well.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Grottoes VA
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    5,856
    Don't have a gas pack installed, they are ugly. They are better suited for trailer's and commercial buildings.
    Karst means cave. So, I search for caves.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    1,841
    Originally posted by karsthuntr
    Don't have a gas pack installed, they are ugly. They are better suited for trailer's and commercial buildings.

    karsthuntr is right.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
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    7,415
    Just throwing something else out there to think about.

    If you choose to go electric (my personal opinion is HP up and down also), and this is a new house getting built, run some gas lines through the house anyway.

    I'm all electric, but there's gas in my area. When I re-do the basement to put in a heat pump in, I plan on running gas to the common areas (stove, laundry room, by the water heater and furnace). I doubt I'd ever use it, but who knows what the future may bring. Maybe electric prices will jump majorly and gas will fall (lol, we can dream can't we?), or maybe the next family moving in will want gas. Of course it won't cost me a ton to do this since between me and plumbers that owe me favors we can do this. But either way it's a heck of a lot cheaper to do it when it's being built than to retrofit it later.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    10

    new house, gas or electric

    Do consider a dual fuel heat pump / gas furnace arrangement.
    This will prbably be a more expensive option than other arrangements but one worth considering none the less.

    The heat pump will probably take care of you most of the time with the gas furnace being available for those really cold spells. Additionally, alot of people, especially the better half like the "feel" of the warmer air provided by the gas furnace especially when the temps are in the teens!
    Be careful though and have a good talk with your HVAC contractor about the set point for the transfer from HP/Gas furnace or you'll see most of your energy savings go up the flue. Come Summer you'll really enjoy those lower utility bills that a HP can provide.

  11. #11
    I'm in the same situation, building a new house, trying to decide what to install.

    Dual fuel has caught my eye, I'll be in an area that does not have natural gas to it. Way out there. We'll have propane.

    Anyway, we are in Northern California (temp range high:110, low:20) and with electic rates so high here, and gas prices going up,
    it doesn't make much of a difference what we go with.

    I was thinking of the dual fuel for a primary/backup type system.

    Sorry for piggybacking on your question 'relaxandreflect'


    Any thoughts on that??

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,042
    Given that you're starting with a blank slate, I'd suggest saving the money on all the LP setup. Put it into a better quality heat pump- variable speed, scroll compressor, and with a multistage heating element. That will get you nice discharge temperatures and still be cheap to operate.

    While I like dual fuel, a good quality heat pump can do fine in this kind of climate, and it's simpler and keeps you from having to deal with an LP tank and supplier and deliveries and such.

    I hear people gripe endlessly about discharge temperatures from heat pumps being wimpy, and all I can figure is that they're talking about cheap/simple/basic heat pumps with old-fasioned thermostats- I seem to remember having an apartment like that once! My discharge temp is always at least 90 degrees, and provided that you don't have too much velocity at your registers (fast-moving air feels drafty), it's comfortable even when it's blowing right on you. So as I see it, it's really just a question of putting the right heat pump together with properly sized ductwork.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    Well said, I wouldnt go duel feul if PL was the second. Maybe oil (I cant believe I just said that, I hate oil but some people like it). Straight HP and you should find out what efficiency you need to qualify for a rebate through the local utility.

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