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  1. #1
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    Retrofitting Heat Pump Air Handler with Furnace Components

    Hi everyone,

    I have a 3 ton York AVG36C**H21(C) air handler (http://www.york.com/residential/prod...esign-avg.aspx) that was installed in late 2008 (along with a new Hallowell Acadia heat pump - which died and was replaced with an 18 SEER Amana 3 ton HP (http://www.amana-hac.com/Products/He...6/Default.aspx)). The air handler works great, no issues.

    Until recently, natural gas was not an option in my neighborhood, but now my local gas utility has starting a program where they will run 100 feet of gas piping to a customer's property at no charge. Incidentally, my neighbor is the last house on the street that was provided gas, which puts the line at around 60 feet from my house.

    Assuming this all works out and the utility will indeed run the gas line to the house, my plan will be to keep the Amana HP as an air conditioner (which it is great at) and heat the house with gas during the winter.

    The question: I was wondering if the York air handler could be retrofit to include the gas furnace components without completely replacing the entire unit (keep the blue fin coil, the blower, etc)?

    Thanks in advance
    Kevin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    St Paul, minnesota
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmkuntz View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I have a 3 ton York AVG36C**H21(C) air handler (http://www.york.com/residential/prod...esign-avg.aspx) that was installed in late 2008 (along with a new Hallowell Acadia heat pump - which died and was replaced with an 18 SEER Amana 3 ton HP (http://www.amana-hac.com/Products/He...6/Default.aspx)). The air handler works great, no issues.

    Until recently, natural gas was not an option in my neighborhood, but now my local gas utility has starting a program where they will run 100 feet of gas piping to a customer's property at no charge. Incidentally, my neighbor is the last house on the street that was provided gas, which puts the line at around 60 feet from my house.

    Assuming this all works out and the utility will indeed run the gas line to the house, my plan will be to keep the Amana HP as an air conditioner (which it is great at) and heat the house with gas during the winter.

    The question: I was wondering if the York air handler could be retrofit to include the gas furnace components without completely replacing the entire unit (keep the blue fin coil, the blower, etc)?

    Thanks in advance
    Kevin
    no you can't retrofit furnace parts into an air handler, also natural gas is still not cheaper than a high efficient heat pump, but you can have the furnace installed and setup as a dual fuel unit. also that way if either gas or electric goes up you can switch to whichever is cheaper

  3. #3
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    No, if you are after lower utillity bills keep what you have. Gas WILL cost you more to operate.

  4. #4
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    To answer you'll have to have the cost of electricity and the cost of the natural gas as each is supplied to your home. In my area, it's actually cheaper to use nat. gas than heat pump except in 47 degree and warmer weather. At that temp. outside it's about even. Due to recent increases in cost of electricity and decreases in Nat. gas rates. But you need cost of KWs and Therms to figure it out. But then again, you can't use the gas furnace and air handler together. If you have a two piece air handler where coil is seperate from blower section, you might be able to use just the coil section above the new gas furnace and also go duel fuel if want to.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2004
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    Get a new coil that is a match for your Amana heat pump.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

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

  6. #6
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    Jul 2006
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    will need complete furnace and and evaporator coil and a dual fuel thermostat myself i like the honeywell prestige as it does dual fuel also works great to run humidifiers .
    Go Trump

  7. #7
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks everyone. Where I live (just outside of NYC) our utility generates the majority of its electricity by burning oil, so the prices are always sky high, and fluctuate only a little with oil speculation. This past February I paid just under 25 cents / KWh. Gas is considerably cheaper here.

    I like the idea of setting up a dual fuel system as many of you have suggested.

    I appreciate all the advice.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Get a new coil that is a match for your Amana heat pump.
    Good point.

  9. #9
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    You'll be ahead on gas below probably 45F but you'd have to run the actual numbers. Gas it also nice because in the event of a power outage, a relatively small protable genrator can usually run a furnace as well as the water heater. IF you getting gas, I'd switch the water heater too.

    Since the air handler is fairly new, the other option could be to add a combi boiler that will make domestic hot water and provide hot water for heating. You could still use your existing electric tank for storage capacity, jsut turn it's thermostat down and keep the boiler sized for heating.

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