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Thread: Non-Communicating Heat Pump Model Purchase Advice

  1. #1
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    Non-Communicating Heat Pump Model Purchase Advice

    Good day to all. Long time reader, first time poster. I have a 1913 home in Winnipeg Canada that I have been working to bring into the 21st century. 2.5 storeys plus basement (600 sq ft per floor plus 300 in the top half storey/attic/home theatre.

    Envelope is tight now with upgraded windows and wrapped with 2” of rigid insulation. Added an HRV last fall.

    House has no central air conditioning and we have made out “ok” with a 14k BTU standalone floor unit on the top floor with intake/exhaust out a window (although the racket from that unit will not be missed).

    Really considering a cold climate heat pump if I can integrate it into my system (rather than just an AC unit).

    Furnace is a 15 year old Lennox G61MPV-36-070 (61k BTU, 2-stage burner, variable speed DC blower). Works great without issue (fan has circulated air at 494 cfm for over 130k hours).

    With the 2.5 storey + basement we saw considerable heat stacking, so last year we installed dedicated duct work to each floor, plus Honeywell HZ322 (3-zone) panel and dedicated tstats and dampers for each level (basement is currently fed as a “dump zone”, plus variable bypass damper to return set at 0.7” w.g.).

    Our “small” furnace now works even more efficiently and with the “focused”, zoned heating (we rarely use the basement or 3rd floor), a heat pump may be a good heating option for the transition months, as an option above central air alone.

    I really like the Honeywell tstats and zoning controls. And since they only went in a short time ago, the HP will need to integrate into the existing setup (rather than upgrading everything to include communicating components, incl the newly installed HZ432 zone panel for the HP).

    I have spent many hours browsing trying to find a heat pump that meets the following (in a slight order of preference),

    1. Non-communicating. Needs to work with the existing set up (with the zoning and the variable speed blower, I don’t require anything else).

    2. 3-stage, modulating (2-stage would be “ideal” to work with my “non-communicating” system, but there is also a local HP rebate program that stipulates a minimum of “3 or more stages modulating, or fully variable”).

    3. Outdoor space is an issue. Side discharge would be ideal.

    I am open to all brands and models. As I said, I have spent quite some time looking online, and although I have seen some (obsolete?) models that might “fit the bill”, I really hope there are still some options available. Qualifying for the heat pump rebate would be great but if it needs to “only” be a 2-stage unit that will be ok with me too.

    If anyone can point me in a brand/model direction I would very much appreciate that. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Try Bosch bova 2.0. I don’t know there lower end heat capacity but they do modulate and use you standard thermostat. It modulates based kn return gas temp. Weather it qualifies for the rebate though I don’t know.

    Most 2 stage units, even if they are labeled communicating, still have the legacy 24v option.

    Most all the major manufacturers variable/modulating units are gonna need the matched wall controller


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  3. #3
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    If you're only planning on using the heat pump during the "transition months", a cold climate model is overkill. The whole point of laying out the cash for a cold climate HP vs. a more basic one is that you can rely on it all winter.

    Going to a variable speed HP drives up the cost significantly, so depending on how generous the rebate is, you may not actually save money in the end over a more basic model. Plus you will have the potential of higher repair costs and more limited parts/service if it does break. So might want to think twice about doing it just for the rebate.

    That said, still worth shopping and comparing as some variable speed models are less expensive. Here are all the variable speed HP's on the market (to my knowledge) that will operate with 3rd party controls and blower:

    Bosch BOVA/BOVB

    Gree Flexx (side discharge)

    Lennox/Allied EL18XPV/4HP18V

    Carrier/Bryant/ICP 25VNA8/288BNV/TVH8/HVH8/CVH8

    Rheem/Ruud RP17/UP17

    York/Luxaire/Coleman HMH7 (side discharge)

    York/Luxaire/Coleman YHM/TH16/CH16

    Nortek PSH1BG/FSH1BG
    Last edited by ss120396; 08-16-2022 at 10:01 PM.

  4. #4
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    Thank you kindly for the suggestions and model numbers that will work with non-proprietary controls - I will check them out!

    I used the term “cold climate” heat pump loosely and without enough knowledge of how those are are differentiated from typical heat pumps.

    Has the HP technology come far enough that it is conceivable to use them without a dual fuel setup throughout the winter?

    Here in Winnipeg (aka Winterpeg) the “transition” months of Oct, Nov, Mar, Apr can still get down to -15*C/5*F and lately Dec-Feb seem to average lows around -25*C/-13*F.

    Even though locally we have some of the lowest electricity rates in North America ($0.09/kwh), I was still planning on having the system switch from HP to natural gas below -15*C/5*F. It’s tough to beat the output per $ of natural gas - even with the new carbon taxes we are seeing up here.

    So perhaps I mis-spoke using the term “cold climate” heat pump? - I’m used to erring on the side of winter up here haha.

  5. #5
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    Has the HP technology come far enough that it is conceivable to use them without a dual fuel setup throughout the winter?

    What’s your backup plan for heat if/when those complicated systems having many more parts than a basic system fails in middle of winter and your system is down for who knows how long getting those proprietary parts?

    Bosch has a entry level variable speed 15 SEER model also BOVA15

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazooka Joe View Post

    What’s your backup plan for heat if/when those complicated systems having many more parts than a basic system fails in middle of winter and your system is down for who knows how long getting those proprietary parts?”

    Bosch has a entry level variable speed 15 SEER model also BOVA15
    Thanks for this suggestion! The BOVA15 looks like a plus unit. Footprint is relatively small (29” square), so could work with some shoe-horning re-work. Side discharge still seems to suit the available real estate better, but I’ll add the BOVA15 to my pricing inquiry options.

    Yes - my neighbour is considering “giving up” natural gas in pricing out a replacement Heat Pump/full electrical system. I suppose “heat strips” in the air handler are what a person would have to rely on when the temps drop down to -25C/-13F, and lower, here in Winnipeg?
    I haven’t done the math but I told him he should ask for an estimate on what his electrical bill might be in a cold Jan/Feb using those heat strips/aux electrical heat, instead of the relatively cheap LNG BTUs.
    I’ll be sticking with my natural gas hookup for the time being. Although if the power goes out, nothing will work anyway (until we all have solar I suppose).

  7. #7
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    If you want to support the home team, and leaning towards side discharge here’s a couple based in your country, ( 1st two ) course they are probably either rebadged Gree Flexx or Gree in general or Midea or some other Chinese manufacturer and exported.

    https://www.napoleon.com/en/us/heati...-w-ns18-series

    https://www.dettson.com/wp-content/u.../FXDAH_ENG.pdf


    The Mr. Cool looks to be a rebadged Gree Flexx

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...6dY7vuN9DTvSg5

    Lastly on running the lineset:

    Do you know how many HO come here complaining about harmonic or vibration noises, from the lineset from Heat Pumps when running in heat mode, due to the Installing Contractor not following the piping guidelines mounting practice of the manufacturers,….. a bunch come here to complain. Typically works great in cool mode for the most part, but heating sometimes is a different story, as the vapor line of the lineset has much more refrigerant and at a much higher refrigerant pressure than during cool mode.

    Typically you want a almost like floating type of lineset with Heat Pumps.

    Page 3 discusses pulsation and how to avoid it when installing a Heat Pump and lineset. This install guide is from a Carrier HP, your system of choice probably will have something similar. May want to discuss this part with Bidding Contractors. Thinking you would need to elevate outdoor unit for better water drainage during defrost, as chances the install guide of whichever brand model you decide on will mention it. Some have different height recommendations with outdoor temperatures or snow accumulation in your region.

    https://aplusair.ca/wp-content/uploa...structions.pdf
    Last edited by Bazooka Joe; 08-17-2022 at 11:01 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ss120396 View Post
    If you're only planning on using the heat pump during the "transition months", a cold climate model is overkill. The whole point of laying out the cash for a cold climate HP vs. a more basic one is that you can rely on it all winter.

    Going to a variable speed HP drives up the cost significantly, so depending on how generous the rebate is, you may not actually save money in the end over a more basic model. Plus you will have the potential of higher repair costs and more limited parts/service if it does break. So might want to think twice about doing it just for the rebate.

    That said, still worth shopping and comparing as some variable speed models are less expensive. Here are all the variable speed HP's on the market (to my knowledge) that will operate with 3rd party controls and blower:

    Bosch BOVA/BOVB

    Gree Flexx (side discharge)

    Lennox/Allied EL18XPV/4HP18V

    Carrier/Bryant/ICP 25VNA8/288BNV/TVH8/HVH8/CVH8

    Rheem/Ruud RP17/UP17

    York/Luxaire/Coleman HMH7 (side discharge)

    York/Luxaire/Coleman YHM/TH16/CH16

    Nortek PSH1BG/FSH1BG
    Thank you kindly for the detailed list! Looking again at the outdoor space available, I think side discharge is the way I need to go (also considering I do not want to mount a unit to the exterior wall (1913 framing will resonate for sure and space is restricted around the foundation), as well as the side discharge units seem to do better with snow?).

    I’ve starting looking more closely at the York/Luxaire/Coleman HMH7 (side discharge) and it seems like a great fit for me.

    I’m not familiar with Gree Flexx (side discharge) and will start looking into that next.

    Can you explain the differences/features a “cold climate” heat pump might have over the others? Do any of the heat pumps you listed qualify as “cold climate”?
    I don’t plan on giving up natural gas for the time being when it gets real cold, so you are correct in that I shouldn’t need to go to that “level”.

  9. #9
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    “I’ve starting looking more closely at the York/Luxaire/Coleman HMH7 (side discharge) and it seems like a great fit for me.”

    Chances those are rebadged made/manufactured/assembled 100% in China brands and exported to country of choice. Not saying that’s a bad thing just saying….

    If you research Gree or Midea, you will see they have a large portion of the worlds HVAC market share.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazooka Joe View Post
    If you want to support the home team, and leaning towards side discharge here’s a couple based in your country, ( 1st two ) course they are probably either rebadged Gree Flexx or Gree in general or Midea or some other Chinese manufacturer and exported.

    The Mr. Cool looks to be a rebadged Gree Flexx

    Lastly on running the lineset:

    Do you know how many HO come here complaining about harmonic or vibration noises, from the lineset from Heat Pumps when running in heat mode, due to the Installing Contractor not following the piping guidelines mounting practice of the manufacturers,….. a bunch come here to complain. Typically works great in cool mode for the most part, but heating sometimes is a different story, as the vapor line of the lineset has much more refrigerant and at a much higher refrigerant pressure than during cool mode.

    Typically you want a almost like floating type of lineset with Heat Pumps.

    Page 3 discusses pulsation and how to avoid it when installing a Heat Pump and lineset. This install guide is from a Carrier HP, your system of choice probably will have something similar. May want to discuss this part with Bidding Contractors. Thinking you would need to elevate outdoor unit for better water drainage during defrost, as chances the install guide of whichever brand model you decide on will mention it. Some have different height recommendations with outdoor temperatures or snow accumulation in your region.
    Thanks for those 3 “home team”/Canadian suggestions, Bazooka Joe!

    I’ve heard of the Napoleon brand before - but only seen their BBQs - interesting that they are re-branding equipment and getting into the HVAC market (similar to Bosch I suppose).

    On the Napoleon website a quick “dealer locator” search turned up three local contractors - so that is great (I may be able to turn up more info locally on the other two, Dettson and Mr. Cool, but unfortunately their dealer locator doesn’t display any dealers in my province).

    Unfortunately (so far) the closest Gree dealer I’ve located is on the other side of the country (we like to really spread things out here in Canada). Did you say that the Napoleon Heat Pump NS18 looks to be a re-badged Gree unit?

    This unit seems to check all three of my boxes and if I can get good local support then this unit is high on my list.

    I will definitely discuss the line set and unit height install with any bidders - thanks for highlighting!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by local343mb View Post
    Thanks for those 3 “home team”/Canadian suggestions, Bazooka Joe!

    I’ve heard of the Napoleon brand before - but only seen their BBQs - interesting that they are re-branding equipment and getting into the HVAC market (similar to Bosch I suppose).

    On the Napoleon website a quick “dealer locator” search turned up three local contractors - so that is great (I may be able to turn up more info locally on the other two, Dettson and Mr. Cool, but unfortunately their dealer locator doesn’t display any dealers in my province).

    Unfortunately (so far) the closest Gree dealer I’ve located is on the other side of the country (we like to really spread things out here in Canada). Did you say that the Napoleon Heat Pump NS18 looks to be a re-badged Gree unit?

    This unit seems to check all three of my boxes and if I can get good local support then this unit is high on my list.

    I will definitely discuss the line set and unit height install with any bidders - thanks for highlighting!
    I don’t think the NS18 is necessary a rebadged Gree Flexx as it shows it at “up to” 18 SEER whereas the Flexx says up to 20 SEER. Who knows maybe it is but tops off at up to 18 SEER due to less indoor selection that they agreed on ?? I think the ACD is in more of a line of a rebadged Flexx as it says “up to” 20 SEER. The Mr. Cool is a USA based company as far as I know and looks to be a rebadged Flexx. You would have to compare the Flexx specifications guide to the other brands mentioned to see the skinny.

    You need to remember SEER and EER and HSPF are determined by a matched system ( AHRI web-site ) and the indoor to outdoor selection gives you those numbers, not the rating of the outdoor unit alone.

    Here’s the site, if they are bidding matched AHRI systems ask them for the AHRI number and enter it here to see what each system is rated at, not real world numbers but you get a idea of what your getting for what your paying for and if you have some form of rebates, chances your country will require a AHRI number to prove ratings.

    https://www.ahridirectory.org/

    The Bosch outdoor unit is manufactured/assembled/made ( whatever the correct terminology is ) 100% in China and shipped worldwide. Bosch and Midea have a partnership I believe to produce the BOVA. Not sure who makes the Air Handlers or country of origin for Bosch? It has a Mitsubishi compressor and heard it’s technology is Mitsubishi. I also read here that they use a different compressor manufacturer than Mitsubishi on some of their models, I don’t know if that’s true or not. Could be Bosch technology or both?? I think it’s pretty much German in name only or close to it…??

    “I’ve heard of the Napoleon brand before - but only seen their BBQs - interesting that they are re-branding equipment and getting into the HVAC market.”

    Cost factor I suppose, cheaper to have a licensing agreement ( or whatever it’s called ) and touting a proven design than R&D expense and bringing a untested new unit to the table?

    It’s complicated out there nowadays.
    Last edited by Bazooka Joe; 08-17-2022 at 12:20 PM.

  12. #12
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    The Mr. Cool “Universal” series ducted looks to be a rebadged Flexx.

    https://mrcool.com/wp-content/dox_re...o-br-en-01.pdf

    I’ve heard of the Napoleon brand before - but only seen their BBQs - interesting that they are re-branding equipment and getting into the HVAC market.

    Who knows how they got into HVAC, they could have purchased a smaller struggling HVAC manufacturer or the gas furnaces are their design or it’s rebadged licensing agreement on someone else’s products?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon_(company)

    In 2013, Napoleon invented the first 30,000 BTU gas furnace, which was described as the smallest BTU size of any gas furnace sold in the world.[8] Since then, the company has continued developing multiple patented inventions for fireplaces, grills, along with heating and cooling products
    Last edited by Bazooka Joe; 08-17-2022 at 12:56 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by local343mb View Post
    Can you explain the differences/features a “cold climate” heat pump might have over the others? Do any of the heat pumps you listed qualify as “cold climate”?
    That's a tough one, I don't know that there's really an official definition.

    I'd recommend checking out this database:

    https://ashp.neep.org/

    They basically count every heat pump with a variable speed compressor as a "cold climate heat pump". The heat pumps vary widely in their performance at cold temperatures - some will maintain their full capacity into the negatives (Fahrenheit), others start dropping off in the 20s. But the idea with the variable speed compressor is that you can go up a size or two to get the heating capacity you need, while not being oversized in the summer as it can just ramp down.

  14. #14
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    Good luck getting a Bosch unit in Canada right now..I ordered units over a year ago....still haven't receive a single thing..

    Carrier has the 38MARBQ which will work with the corresponding 24 volt interface board.


    Gree has terrible support.. I would stay away from them.

    I have read about the York unit..but cannot get it because they have restricted sales to their one distributors due to supply shortages




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    Last edited by BALloyd; 08-17-2022 at 06:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BALloyd View Post
    Carrier has the 38MARBQ which will work with the corresponding 24 volt interface board.
    I think with that unit, you still need to use the matching air handler though. Don't think you can match it with a furnace like OP wants to do.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ss120396 View Post
    I think with that unit, you still need to use the matching air handler though. Don't think you can match it with a furnace like OP wants to do.
    Incorrect.....I have installed one paired with a coil and a gas furnace

    You can also use almost any Carrier airhandler.

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  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BALloyd View Post
    Incorrect.....I have installed one paired with a coil and a gas furnace

    You can also use almost any Carrier airhandler.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
    Thanks for the suggestion! I got this message when searching for it -
    This product is no longer in production and may only be available in limited quantities. Contact your dealer for further details.

    Unit looks good at first glance.
    Maybe I can find one locally still.

    I will make some calls tomorrow and keep everyone posted.

    Thanks all!

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by local343mb View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion! I got this message when searching for it -
    This product is no longer in production and may only be available in limited quantities. Contact your dealer for further details.

    Unit looks good at first glance.
    Maybe I can find one locally still.

    I will make some calls tomorrow and keep everyone posted.

    Thanks all!
    That is completely incorrect


    Did you look up a 38marb by chance?


    38MARBQ is the current model.

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  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BALloyd View Post
    That is completely incorrect


    Did you look up a 38marb by chance?


    38MARBQ is the current model.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
    Yes - you are correct. I clicked on a link that took me to Carrier’s 38MARB (sans Q). Thank you

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ss120396 View Post
    That's a tough one, I don't know that there's really an official definition.

    I'd recommend checking out this database:

    https://ashp.neep.org/

    They basically count every heat pump with a variable speed compressor as a "cold climate heat pump". The heat pumps vary widely in their performance at cold temperatures - some will maintain their full capacity into the negatives (Fahrenheit), others start dropping off in the 20s. But the idea with the variable speed compressor is that you can go up a size or two to get the heating capacity you need, while not being oversized in the summer as it can just ramp down.
    Thanks for the link to the Cold Climate Air Source Heat Pump (ccASHP) Product List! This looks to be an excellent tool to compare models. I will make a spreadsheet on the various models suggested here. Much appreciated!

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