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Thread: HVAC for new home questions

  1. #1
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    HVAC for new home questions

    Hello,

    We are in the planning stage for building a one story, 2800 square foot home in northern NJ. The zip code is 07871. Our only energy choices are electric, oil or propane. I am looking at my hvac choices and could use some recommendations.

    The choices as I see them are:

    1) Geothermal. Given the drilling in a rocky region, this "seems" like it would be wildly expensive and may put it out of reach.
    2) Electric heat pump. Would it be better to have electric emergency heat or use propane or oil as a backup heat? What is the lowest temp I can expect before relying on the backup heat?
    3) Oil furnace with traditional A/C?
    4) Mini-split - off the table as my wife hates the looks of the inside units, unless they have changed how the inside units work
    5) Propane furnace with traditional A/C? We have propane now and the costs are really high, at least in South Jersey ($3.00+/gal)
    6) H/W baseboard - not sure how cost effective a boiler would be based on oil/propane only
    7) Radiant - we have not decided on monolithic slab or basement. But still subject to how cost effective a boiler would be based on oil/propane


    link to the floor plan: https://www.architecturaldesigns.com...e-plan-69582am
    Any suggestions/comments/recommendations are greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Well radiant is the most comfortable, and most expensive. If you do a slab it has to be insulated underneath and especially the edges. You'll also need an air handler to do AC.
    If it's all forced air, and you don't have natural gas, I would do a oil furnace/heat pump. Unless you have other appliances using propane, then maybe heat pump and propane. I'm not a fan of storing and buying propane. Propane is subject to higher price fluctuations, and there has been logistical and supply problems in the past. And if fracking gets banned, propane would likely get pretty expensive.

    I have a number of customers in the Philly suburbs with oil furnace/heat pump. They rarely burn more than 150 gallons of oil a year. The downside is oil doesn't sit well so I'd recommend a Roth style double wall tank and treat the fuel with additives, fill the tank up in the spring. Not best to leave it empty thru the summer. Roth even makes a 165 gallon tank.

    You could also do boiler/radiant and hydro air handlers hooked to heat pumps. A boiler like the Energy Kinetics is super efficient, local to you. It will make your domestic hot water too. Many models can be easily converted from oil to gas by changing the gun (didn't say cheaply, just easily).
    If I do a job in 30 minutes it's because I spent 30 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.

  3. Likes tkappeler, Bazooka Joe liked this post.
  4. #3
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    Possibly a Hybrid Heat Pump on warmer days then it switches automatically ( reading OD temperature ) to your ducted fossil fuel of choice, or a Hydronic Air Handler system with a basic central A/C..where majority of the equipment is indoors away from the elements.

    https://cdn.globalimageserver.com/Fe...0-9F28BBFAE534

    Page 3

    Register your system of choice as manufacturers warranty decreases if never registered. Ask for AHRI matched systems, as your state or local utility may have rebates if equipment meets a minimum threshold in SEER and EER and heating efficiency. May or may not apply to new construction homes thou??

    Federal Tax Credits apply also if meeting minimum standards. Not sure if those apply to new construction thou.

    Be careful they do not run the heating system or cooling system during construction, as I read hear manufacturers warranty will be compromised, don’t know if that’s true thou. Your duct work may get sheet rock or wood dust throughout also the furnace and A/C coil also.

    They should supply there own portable heating source.

    Ask for a detailed start up/commissioning report, things like final field refrigerant charge, amprege draws on motors and compressor, temperature rise across HX, static pressures, etc. etc. are within manufacturers specifications.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazooka Joe View Post
    Possibly a Hybrid Heat Pump on warmer days then it switches automatically ( reading OD temperature ) to your ducted fossil fuel of choice, or a Hydronic Air Handler system with a basic central A/C..where majority of the equipment is indoors away from the elements.

    https://cdn.globalimageserver.com/Fe...0-9F28BBFAE534

    Page 3

    Register your system of choice as manufacturers warranty decreases if never registered. Ask for AHRI matched systems, as your state or local utility may have rebates if equipment meets a minimum threshold in SEER and EER and heating efficiency. May or may not apply to new construction homes thou??

    Federal Tax Credits apply also if meeting minimum standards. Not sure if those apply to new construction thou.

    Be careful they do not run the heating system or cooling system during construction, as I read hear manufacturers warranty will be compromised, don’t know if that’s true thou. Your duct work may get sheet rock or wood dust throughout also the furnace and A/C coil also.

    They should supply there own portable heating source.

    Ask for a detailed start up/commissioning report, things like final field refrigerant charge, amprege draws on motors and compressor, temperature rise across HX, static pressures, etc. etc. are within manufacturers specifications.
    Any idea on operating cost efficiency on a tankless that would have to run on propane, especially compared to the other options?

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkappeler View Post
    Any idea on operating cost efficiency on a tankless that would have to run on propane, especially compared to the other options?
    Tankless is more about convenience and having unlimited hot water, your cost to heat water will be about the same especially if you have an active household. TBH, I would just put an electric WH in, maybe two depending on how many people will be living there. Tankless can be expensive to operate on propane and they're prone to many failures if not maintained regularly. Electric is plug-and-play for 12-15 years, not much to go wrong.
    Everything I’m going to say today are my conclusions and my opinions, my opinions are based on my education, my training, my experience. Different people have different experiences, so they have different opinions and I make no claim that my opinion has its origin in the mind greatness. - Paul Harrell

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  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkappeler View Post
    Any idea on operating cost efficiency on a tankless that would have to run on propane, especially compared to the other options?
    Such as on a wet based boiler? I have a boiler ( oil baseboard ) with a heating coil on the boiler for domestic when I purchased the house, taking a shower, the water would seem to cool down, enough to restart the boiler to heat it again. I could always tell when the boiler came on as the temperature would rise again. Eventually got tired of that, and installed a indirect water heater, unlimited amount of hot water now.

  9. #7
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    A cold weather heat pump is a great choice for New Jersey .
    *********
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    Find contractors with specialized training in combustion analysis, residential system performance, air flow, and duct optimization https://www.myhomecomfort.org/


    Site member map HERE!

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkappeler View Post
    Hello,

    We are in the planning stage for building a
    one story, 2800 square foot home in northern NJ.
    The zip code is 07871
    .

    Our only energy choices are electric, oil or propane. I am looking at my hvac choices and could use some recommendations.

    The choices as I see them are:

    1) Geothermal.
    Given the drilling in a rocky region, this "seems" like it would be wildly expensive and may put it out of reach.

    2) Electric heat pump.
    Would it be better to have electric emergency heat or use propane or oil as a backup heat?


    What is the lowest temp I can expect before relying on the backup heat?


    3) Oil furnace with traditional A/C?

    link to the floor plan: https://www.architecturaldesigns.com...e-plan-69582am
    Any suggestions/comments/recommendations are greatly appreciated.
    The lowest Balance Point is dependent on:
    1. BUILDING THERMAL ENVELOPE
    2. Heat Pump Size

    3. Heat Pump Selection
    [ i.e. BRYANT ///
    https://www.bryant.com/en/us/product...ioners/186cnv/ ]

    __ ~ 20'F ?

    SEND ME YOUR PLANS AND SPECS,
    then I will have a much better idea
    of equipment and operating costs.

    www.mysimplifiedhvac.com

    Gmail address: racingdan11
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Designer Dan __ It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with Some Art. _ _ KEEP IT SIMPLE & SINCERE ___ __ www.mysimplifiedhvac.com ___ __ Define the Building Envelope & Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows & Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  11. #9
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    $ 0.15 / kw-hour ?

    NJ Building Code ... 0.32 is TOO High
    _______________
    ... ... ... U-factor should be < 0.24

    Whole House Heat Loss
    / 2 systems
    GOAL : < 39,000 BTU/HR @ 10'F ODT

    What is the House Perimeter?
    68' x 42' = ~ 220' to 260'

    Wall Height: 9'
    _________ 10'
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Designer Dan __ It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with Some Art. _ _ KEEP IT SIMPLE & SINCERE ___ __ www.mysimplifiedhvac.com ___ __ Define the Building Envelope & Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows & Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  12. #10
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    Thread Starter
    Dan,

    The plans are from an online home designer. The plans are here: https://www.architecturaldesigns.com...e-plan-69582am
    We will be doing 2x6 walls, poured concrete basement and we are omitting the flex space over the garage.

    Thank you

  13. #11
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    Thread Starter
    Dan,

    Looking online at electric rates, I see 0.10 - 0.12/kwH

    Wall heights are 10'

    Perimeter of heated space is 268'

  14. #12
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    Closed cell spray foam insulation??? Fresh filtered air ventilation?? Whole house dehumidification??
    These are the basic building blocks.
    Next comes the mid to high efficiency heating and cooling.
    My Wis. home has foam board insulation built 45 years ago with LP and heat pump.
    Not concerned about basics??
    Dan is on the right track.

    Keep us posted on how this all works out.


    Regards Teddy Bear
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  15. #13
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by teddy bear View Post
    Closed cell spray foam insulation??? Fresh filtered air ventilation?? Whole house dehumidification??
    These are the basic building blocks.
    Next comes the mid to high efficiency heating and cooling.
    My Wis. home has foam board insulation built 45 years ago with LP and heat pump.
    Not concerned about basics??
    Dan is on the right track.

    Keep us posted on how this all works out.


    Regards Teddy Bear
    Yes, planning on use 2x6 walls with closed cell spray foam insulation. I still have to look at the ventilation and dehumidification.
    Thanks.

  16. #14
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    Conceptual Manual J Calc

    Quote Originally Posted by tkappeler View Post
    Dan,

    Looking online at electric rates, I see 0.10 - 0.12/kwH

    Wall heights are 10'

    Perimeter of heated space is 268' .
    MAIN FLOOR_ 34,000 BTU/HR
    BASEMENT ___ 16,560
    ___ HOUSE ___ 50,560
    ________ ___ ___ ___

    Windows: 400 Sq Feet
    U-Factor < 0.24

    Wall + Window Area: ~ 2,900 SF Main Floor

    Basement: Insulated Walls R-15; 2,600 Sq Ft
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Designer Dan __ It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with Some Art. _ _ KEEP IT SIMPLE & SINCERE ___ __ www.mysimplifiedhvac.com ___ __ Define the Building Envelope & Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows & Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  17. #15
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    Designer Dan __ It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with Some Art. _ _ KEEP IT SIMPLE & SINCERE ___ __ www.mysimplifiedhvac.com ___ __ Define the Building Envelope & Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows & Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  18. #16
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    Dan, thanks for the Manual J showing the sensible/latent loads for the home.

    Glad to hear about the closed cell foam insulation. This could be a great home and demonstration efficiency, comfort, and health by using foam, mid-efficiency equipment, and mechanical fresh air ventilation/humidity control, (Whole house dehumidifier with the filtered fresh air option, like Ultra-Aire 120.

    The main point is that the a/c will remove the latent (moisture) during peak sensible cooling from the occupants, infiltration, and fresh air ventilation to maintain <50%RH during the damp seasons of the year in your green grass climate. The problem few address is the as the sun sets and the sensible cooling load declines to near zero while the latent load continues near peak 24 hours per day. This problem is also probable during raining days.

    A well setup a/c(heat Pump) will remove the upto 2,500 btus per ton of total cooling. This would be more than enough to maintain <50%RH during typical hot days while maintaining 75^F in the conditioned space.

    Evenings and rainy days with similar outdoor dew points, supplemental dehumidification is needed to maintain the desired <50%RH throughout the home including the basement. Filtered fresh air and the moisture from the occupants needs upto 4-6 lbs of moisture removed per hour during +70^F outdoor dew points. That is where the whole house dehumidifier (Ultra-Aire 120 comes in.

    Looking forward to the discussion that will follow after you sell this concept to your mechanical contrator and builder.

    Suggest that you present the idea of fresh air ventilation and moisture from the occupants needs supplemental dehumidification during load sensible cooling envenings and rainy days, low/no sensible cooling loads.

    Keep us posted on how this goes and how we can help.

    Regards Teddy Bear

    Name:  Manual J latent for NE US .png
Views: 125
Size:  220.4 KB

    There are 1,050 latent btus of 1 lb of moisture, condensate that the a/c or dehumidifier must remove at design outdoor dew point for your area.
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  19. #17
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    As others have said I would recommend dual fuel heat pump with propane backup for the most cost-effective and efficient system. A two-stage furnace with two stage heat pump would be a good option.

    Sent from my motorola razr (2020) using Tapatalk
    Quality and Value Service and Repair

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