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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    I am having a new ac unit installed soon and was trying to decide if I want a heat pump or not. Two years ago I purchased a thermopride oil furnace and was going to purchase a air conditioner later. With the price of fuel oil lately (doubling) I thought about putting in a heat pump instead of just an ac unit. I know that heat pumps won't last as long because they work year round for ac then heat. Any advice would be appreciated here. Is it worth it I don't know. I need your advice Thanks Brad

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Yes buy the heat pump and enjoy the benefit of dual fuel. The heatpump works upto about 30 degrees outside temp and then your furnace will take over.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    right now my electric company is charging me 5.1784 per kwh.
    Fuel oil will cost me $2.00 a gallon 4 years ago is was .93 a gallon. Will a heat pump save me money? I live in southern ohio

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Definitely so the pump route. High oil prices and good electric rates in a moderate climate, perfect.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Michigan, Detroit Metro area
    The following was originally posted by Swany, in the Pro's Forum.


    I got this years ago from the utility company. I keep it around to do utility cost comparisons with current rates here locally. These are our current rates, fuel oil is a guess since there isn't any here. I just use the current price per gallon of diesel.

    On the efficiency calculations, use your own equipment ratings for AFUE, COP and Efficiency.

    Converting Fuel to Therms and Comparing Cost

    1 Therm = 100,000 Btu
    Natural Gas = 1000 Btu/Ft3
    LP Gas = 91,500 Btu/Gal
    #2 Fuel Oil = 140,000 Btu/Gal
    Electricity = 3,415 Btu/KW

    Natural Gas

    Natural Gas is usually priced per CCF (100 FT3) which is 1 Therm. Calculations usually are based on 10 Therms or 1,000,000 Btu’s (MMBtu).
    Example: Typical current natural gas rate of $1.25/Therm will be $12.50/MMBtu.

    LP Gas

    LP Gas is priced per gallon which is 91,500 Btu. A Therm of LP Gas (100,000 Btu) is 1.09 Gallons.
    Example: Typical current LP gas price of $1.25/Gallon will be $1.32/Therm of $13.20/MMBtu.

    #2 Fuel Oil

    Fuel Oil is priced per gallon which is 140,000 Btu. A Therm of Fuel Oil (100,000 Btu) is .714 Gallons.
    Example: Typical current #2 Fuel Oil price of $2.29/Gallon will be $1.64/Therm or $16.40/MMBtu.


    Electricity is priced per KWH. There are 3,415 Btu per KW. A Therm of Electricity (100,000 Btu) is 29.28 KW.
    Example: Typical current electric rate of $.08/Kwh will be $2.32/Therm or $23.20/MMBtu.

    Fuel Cost vs. Efficiency

    • Natural Gas @ $12.50/MMBtu = $12.50/.80* = $15.63
    • Natural Gas @ $12.50/MMBtu = $12.50/.90* = $13.89
    • LP Gas @ $13.20/MMBtu = $13.20/.80* = $16.50
    • LP Gas @ $13.20/MMBtu = $13.20/.90* = $14.67
    • Fuel Oil @ $16.40/MMBtu = $16.40/.80* = $20.50
    • Electricity @ $23.20/MMBtu = $23.20/1.0* = $23.20
    • Heat Pump @47° With a COP of 3.86* = $23.20/3.86 = $5.32
    • Heat Pump @17° With a COP of 2.36* = $23.20/2.36 = $9.83

    *AFUE, Fuel Efficiency or C.O.P.

    Using the above formulas, convert to your current rates of Natural Gas, LP Gas, Fuel Oil and Electricity. In some areas, when converting to or adding a heat pump, lower electric rates will apply. Be sure to use those rates in this formula.

    Your prices are a little different (fuel oil and KWH), but it looks like there should be savings for you. Depending on what it costs to put the new system in, you might not break even on the cost of the install for a few years. I think it would be worth your time to talk to your contractor about it. If you wanted, you should be able to use your existing oil furnace as the backup heat. This would also help lower the overall cost of the install.

    Here is another link to some info on heat pumps

    What's my post count now?
    UA Local 636

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Here's a calc using your figures. It gives cost per million BTUs.

    80% AFUE oil furnace = $17.86

    standard HP at 47 out = $5.05

    standard HP at 32 out = $6.06

    going 12-13 SEER will lower that even more. I'd use the heat pump as much as possible! Even resistance heat is slightly cheaper than burning oil!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004


    Thanks guys I will be looking at the heat pumps then


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