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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    Basic Heat Pump Questions

    Hello Experts,
    I was recently told that if I want to use heat pump to heat and cool my home, then I will need a heat pump system that is spec for cooling at 16 seer and 11.7 EER, and spec for heating at 8.2 HSPF, 60000 Cap 47 and 50000 Cap 17.
    My questions are:

    1/ Is this heat pump a one machine unit for both heating and cooling? (as compared to having a furnace and a separate cooling unit for a gas-based system)

    2/ If a heat pump is only one machine unit, then is it correct that the refrigerant is stored in the heat pump unit somewhere? (and I don't have to worry about connecting a copper refrigerant line from the AC to the furnace as in the gas furnace system as well as not having to use a separate circuit breaker for the AC unit?)

    3/ Is there a size (like 5 ton) for a heat pump system? In other words, how do I find out which heat pump system is able to perform as an existing 5 ton furnace / AC system?

    4/ Someone mentioned to me that I should also look into a hybrid heat pump system for better heating. Is this hybrid feature included in the one unit of the heat pump system or is it a separate unit connected to the heat pump unit?

    5/ For a heat pump system with the spec mentioned above, what is its approximate cost excluding installation?

    Thank you very much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    New England
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    Depending on where you live ( Northern region states or southern region states ) dictates the minimum SEER of a system it’s 13 for Northern and 14 for Southern states.

    If you have a split system unit ( indoor coil and outdoor unit ) or they make a one piece packaged unit, either are straight cooling or Heat Pump. Both have the capacity for electric heat hookup.

    A Hybrid system is basically a gas or oil furnace with a coil attached to it and a outside unit being a Heat Pump. Basically on warmer days the HP runs to heat the residence, when the outdoor temperature gets to cold to make it less attractive to run the HP shuts off and the furnace runs until thermostat set point is reached, via a sensor that reads OD temperature. It will also switch back to HP mode as the OD temperature rises.

    A load calculation is done to size the cooling and heating system.

    As an example here’s a free one. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...wxqi0c65CNPb1r

    Depending on SEER and HSPF of Heat Pump and % efficiency of furnace system, rebates may come into play.

    Need AHRI matched systems to get those rebates, as you don’t go by the OD unit SEER rating, but the combination of OD and Indoor selection to get your SEER, EER, and HSPF.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
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    Don't believe any air ti air 5 ton heat pump has a heat output of 50,000 BTUs at 17ฐF outdoor temp.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    nebraska
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    A heat pump is just like an AC except it has a valve to change where the hot gas from the compressor is sent. In cooling mode it discharges the heat outside. In heating mode the valve shifts the hot gas to the coil that's inside the home. Still need a furnace to circulate the air through the home. The furnace will supply the heat when it gets too cold out for the heat pump to put out enough BTU to keep the house warm.
    As Joey said there's packaged systems that have everything in one box. It's what you would normally see sitting on top of a commercial building roof. I would not recommend using that if you already have a furnace .

    Cost vary by region and dealer. High volume dealers get a better wholesale price but they also have higher overhead with more trucks and employees so you might not see any of that discount. You'll have to call around local shops to get bids. Doubtful they'll sell you the equipment without the labor to install it in the bid.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
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    Sounds like you need to get people onsite to explain these things and look over YOUR possibilities.

    There is no one size fits all solution. Each home is unique, with it's own needs.

    From your post, it would seem like you have never had air conditioning in a home. If you have, then things are the same as far as you second point/question.
    The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and stamps EVER.
    Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to "Please Do Not Feed the Animals". Their stated reason for this policy "... the animals become dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."
    from an excerpt by Paul Jacob in Sun City, AZ

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    11
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by pacnw View Post
    Sounds like you need to get people onsite to explain these things and look over YOUR possibilities.

    There is no one size fits all solution. Each home is unique, with it's own needs.

    From your post, it would seem like you have never had air conditioning in a home. If you have, then things are the same as far as you second point/question.
    You are 100 % correct. It's an old house with an old central gas heater and 100A panel.
    I am in California, and it has been too hot during the previous summers so we are exploring the options to get AC by this coming summer. I am asking the heat pump questions because the current furnace is old, had past problems, and am deciding whether the new one is going to be heat pump or gas furnace and AC.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by decomo View Post
    You are 100 % correct. It's an old house with an old central gas heater and 100A panel.
    I am in California, and it has been too hot during the previous summers so we are exploring the options to get AC by this coming summer. I am asking the heat pump questions because the current furnace is old, had past problems, and am deciding whether the new one is going to be heat pump or gas furnace and AC.
    You need to know what the utility rates are to make a proper decision.

    Again, you need to start with local companies to get some basics.

    100 amp panel can be a limiting factor, especially if that panel is full.
    The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and stamps EVER.
    Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to "Please Do Not Feed the Animals". Their stated reason for this policy "... the animals become dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."
    from an excerpt by Paul Jacob in Sun City, AZ

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    9,999
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    It appears that you need develop a General Overview including
    determination of Heating and Cooling requirements along with Operating Expenses.

    Gas Cost ?
    $_._ _ / Therm

    Electric cost with careful explanation of the TIERed structure details
    ie. $0.22 / kw-hr upto 350 kw-hours
    > .. $0.34/ kw-Hr upto 1400 kw-hours

    Residence AGE:
    _______ OLD as in built in 1975 or 1940
    _________ 100A ... I guess 1958 +/- 22 years
    _______ Where can you add another 20A, 30A or 40A circuit for A/C or Heat Pump?
    ______________ NEED to ADD a second electrical panel ?

    House Size: 1,200 Sq Ft or 3,600 Sq Ft .?

    Amount of and type of Glass ..?

    ZIP _ _ _ _ _
    CLOSE TO Mexico, Oregon or near a desert region?
    _________________________

    FIRST -
    _____ APPROXIMATE ACCA MANUAL J CALC

    SECOND : How are the existing ducts [ sized for heating] going to be replaced, if necessary?
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    11
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by dan sw fl View Post
    It appears that you need develop a General Overview including
    determination of Heating and Cooling requirements along with Operating Expenses.

    Gas Cost ?
    $_._ _ / Therm

    Electric cost with careful explanation of the TIERed structure details
    ie. $0.22 / kw-hr upto 350 kw-hours
    > .. $0.34/ kw-Hr upto 1400 kw-hours

    Residence AGE:
    _______ OLD as in built in 1975 or 1940
    _________ 100A ... I guess 1958 +/- 22 years
    _______ Where can you add another 20A, 30A or 40A circuit for A/C or Heat Pump?
    ______________ NEED to ADD a second electrical panel ?

    House Size: 1,200 Sq Ft or 3,600 Sq Ft .?

    Amount of and type of Glass ..?

    ZIP _ _ _ _ _
    CLOSE TO Mexico, Oregon or near a desert region?
    _________________________

    FIRST -
    _____ APPROXIMATE ACCA MANUAL J CALC

    SECOND : How are the existing ducts [ sized for heating] going to be replaced, if necessary?

    It was built in the early 60. I had a title 24 report done by a title 24 company and the numbers shown in the first message came from that report. I am in Northern California, and the house is about 2800 sf. Yes, I am concerned about the 100A panel and it's about full. I was hoping that the slot of the breaker for the furnace can be used for the heat pummp but may have to be upgraded to 50A or so.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    Thread Starter
    It was built in the early 60. I had a title 24 report done by a title 24 company and the numbers shown in the first message came from that report. I am in Northern California, and the house is about 2800 sf. Yes, I am concerned about the 100A panel and it's about full. I was hoping that the slot of the breaker for the furnace can be used for the heat pump but may have to be upgraded to 50A or so. The city where I am at is pushing for pushing for zero carbon and this year (2020) requires all new construction to use heat pump for heating and for water. I believe they have a special utility rate for households that use heat pump to make the cost competitive comparing to natural gas.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by decomo View Post

    It was built in the early 60.

    I had a title 24 report done by a title 24 company
    and the numbers shown in the first message came from that report.

    I am in Northern California, and the house is about 2800 sf.

    Yes, I am concerned about the 100A panel and it's about full.
    I was hoping that the slot of the breaker for the furnace can be used for the heat pump
    but may have to be upgraded to 50A or so.

    The city where I am at is pushing for pushing for zero carbon and
    this year (2020) requires all new construction to use heat pump for heating and for water.

    I believe they have a special utility rate for households that use heat pump
    to make the cost competitive comparing to natural gas.
    ??? ???

    ??? ???

    ??? ???
    ________ 39,039 BTU/ HR +/- 38% -- @ 42'F
    ________ 25,151 BTU/ HR _______ -- _ @ 52'F
    … … … … … _ _ _ _
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    edmonds wa
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    You need to do the math as said above, and then get bids that will show a heat loss calc, a thorough inspection of duct system and referrals of past customers. You are buying a system of parts that all need to work together. Most electric providers will have a lot of free info and maybe even financing. And find a good electrician for that panel changeout.
    UA Local 32 retired as of Jan 2020

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    11
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks everyone for your info and advice. Much appreciated!

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