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Old 09-02-2008, 09:32 PM
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Default Heat pump or propane

OK, being the beginning of thinking about winter, and being at nearly zero on propane I am considering a heat pump. I have heard from those pro on it, had some people tell me it is ok. From the pro's I have heard I like the numbers on heat cost compared to what I pay now, and the AC costs are WAY LESS than what I am doing now.

my house is insulated well, and we added vinyl siding this year so we now have more insulation from that.

Like it, dont like it, ho hum, need some good insight on this.


oh the initial cost seems to be around 5000.00 installed and working, but I have people bidding on installation this week. My current system is 14 years old


thanks
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:40 PM
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Default Re: Heat pump or propane

Dany,

Does your utility supplier have any rebates or special pricing to go electric? Also some utilities to get the special pricing you still need a fossil fuel furnace for use when they take your electric away from you.
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: Heat pump or propane

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Originally Posted by thcri View Post
Dany,

Does your utility supplier have any rebates or special pricing to go electric? Also some utilities to get the special pricing you still need a fossil fuel furnace for use when they take your electric away from you.

I am all electric now with the exception of the furnace. Also, 2 seperate companies, gas and electric are not related. Yes there is 200.00 for me to switch to a heat pump, paid in one month on my bill. why would they take the electic away, and if they did a furnace is useless still.
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:00 PM
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Default Re: Heat pump or propane

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Originally Posted by ddrane2115 View Post
why would they take the electic away, and if they did a furnace is useless still.

It is called Dual Fuel. The Utility in our area will give you .04 cents electricity on your heating bill which is about 50% of your normal rate, however during peak times they want you to switch to propane or some other fuel temporarily until they can get their demand back down. Then they switch you back to electricity. I don't know if you have that where you are or not.


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Old 09-02-2008, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: Heat pump or propane

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Originally Posted by thcri View Post
It is called Dual Fuel. The Utility in our area will give you .04 cents electricity on your heating bill which is about 50% of your normal rate, however during peak times they want you to switch to propane or some other fuel temporarily until they can get their demand back down. Then they switch you back to electricity. I don't know if you have that where you are or not.


murph
no, not here..............or they have not mentioned it, and the gal at the electric company did say she was all electric, no dual fuel............and I would not do this if that were the case. We have to buy 400 gallons a year here or they will not sell to us.
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Old 09-02-2008, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: Heat pump or propane

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Originally Posted by ddrane2115 View Post
OK, being the beginning of thinking about winter, and being at nearly zero on propane I am considering a heat pump. I have heard from those pro on it, had some people tell me it is ok. From the pro's I have heard I like the numbers on heat cost compared to what I pay now, and the AC costs are WAY LESS than what I am doing now.

my house is insulated well, and we added vinyl siding this year so we now have more insulation from that.

Like it, dont like it, ho hum, need some good insight on this.


oh the initial cost seems to be around 5000.00 installed and working, but I have people bidding on installation this week. My current system is 14 years old


thanks
You're heat pump won't work much below 32 degrees. It will work great up until then. How many days of winter do you have below 32 degrees? We don't get that many so a heat pump works well for us.

I just had two 2-ton heat pumps installed and your pricing estimate is fairly accurate.

I'm not sure why you would see that much of a difference on AC unless your AC unit is old an inefficient. When Heat Pumps run in AC mode there isn't that much difference from regular AC.

I found this site useful in calculating my ROI on various solutions:

http://www.hvacopcost.com/

Murph, CB, and DZ are all experts in this area so you may want to see if they can offer any insight.
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Old 09-02-2008, 11:31 PM
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Default Re: Heat pump or propane

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Originally Posted by PBinWA View Post
You're heat pump won't work much below 32 degrees. It will work great up until then. How many days of winter do you have below 32 degrees? We don't get that many so a heat pump works well for us.
PB is right. My neighbor has a heat pump and when it's around 20 degrees
it blows cold air. (Warmer than the outside though).
It's possible that they have fixed that problem? Don't Know

d
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Old 09-02-2008, 11:49 PM
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Default Re: Heat pump or propane

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Originally Posted by darroll View Post
It's possible that they have fixed that problem?
Not unless they have changed the laws of physics.
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Old 09-03-2008, 05:27 AM
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Default Re: Heat pump or propane

[quote=darroll;194063]
Quote:
Originally Posted by PBinWA View Post
You're heat pump won't work much below 32 degrees. It will work great up until then. How many days of winter do you have below 32 degrees? We don't get that many so a heat pump works well for us.

PB is right. My neighbor has a heat pump and when it's around 20 degrees
it blows cold air. (Warmer than the outside though).
It's possible that they have fixed that problem? Don't Know

d

there is what they call emergency heat on them, but from what I am hearing from users here, they dont use it much..............I will be finding out more as I learn more on this

thanks guys
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:13 AM
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Default Re: Heat pump or propane

I'm on my second house with heat pump and propane back-up. I guess it is actually my 3rd heat pump because we had to replace the one on the house that burned because of hail damage (incidentally I still have that one and one of these days it will go in the pole barn). I would not use the emergency heat strips, they are too expensive to run and you will lose any cost savings the heat pump gained you. If you already have a propane furnace, leave it there and just add the heat pump. Use the heat pump until about 30 - 32 degrees and then go back to propane. We have had this setup for almost 10 years now and it works well. I talked Mom & Dad into this setup when that added central AC a couple of years ago and they are pretty happy with the $ savings even with natural gas. Just make sure when they install it, it has an outside thermostat. They didn't install that with our first installation and it kept freezing up.

We are looking forward to seeing how well the new house heats with the new heat pump and furnace. I know the furnace will keep the house really warm as when the dry wallers were working they had it at 90 in the house.
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: Heat pump or propane

[quote=ddrane2115;194105]
Quote:
Originally Posted by darroll View Post


there is what they call emergency heat on them, but from what I am hearing from users here, they dont use it much..............I will be finding out more as I learn more on this

thanks guys
The back up straight electric strip heaters will be on most of the time after you drop below 20 degrees during a call for heat. Heat pumps are great down to that point then not so great. In our area we don't sell them. The Efficiency is not there unless you get the lower electric rate and typically have more mechanical problems.

Danny you need to get your dealer to give you a cost/operating comparison chart on Propane versus Electric for your area. I think the link PB posted earlier may do that for you and you plug in the rates. Every area is different. You told me earlier that you don't have the Off Peak Rates so I would question if your going to have a savings over propane. (Propane would have to be pre-purchased to get a good price) You would not have the savings in our area without the special pricing.

Carrier and Bryant both have a new system that is a Heat Pump/Gas Furnace combination with a computer on it. You plug in your electrical rates and fuel rates and the computer determines which to use. But it is expensive. We are starting to get people to ask about them and even will be installing one in about 4 weeks.


murph
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:17 AM
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Default Re: Heat pump or propane

Quote:
Originally Posted by PBinWA View Post

You're heat pump won't work much below 32 degrees. It will work great up until then. How many days of winter do you have below 32 degrees? We don't get that many so a heat pump works well for us.
A properly installed air-to-air heat pump system will work well down to about 20 degrees. I say system because the design of your total system, especially the ductwork, drastically affects your overall effeciency. 20 degrees outside air temp is the bottom end, however. If your area stays consistently below 25 degrees for most of the winter, it could be an issue that affects your operating cost considerably.

Dual fuel may be a good choice for you, where you run your heat pump most of the winter, except for the most extreme cold days, then the system automatically switches to gas.

Here's some links to help you learn more about what's available from the U.S.D.O.E.

http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consume.../mytopic=12620

Here's some geothermal info. Far more expensive system, but far cheaper to operate:

http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consume.../mytopic=12640
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Old 09-03-2008, 10:17 AM
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Default Re: Heat pump or propane

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Dual fuel may be a good choice for you, where you run your heat pump most of the winter, except for the most extreme cold days, then the system automatically switches to gas.
We installed a dual fuel propane/heat pump system for our first floor a couple of years ago. It's set to switch to propane at @40 degrees. The second floor has a heat pump only system. 2,500 sq ft total.

Our highest winter electric bill was in January, a little over $200. I don't know how much propane we used each month. Last fill was in September 2007. I had the tank refilled in April, 80 gallons for the entire winter. The furnace is the only gas appliance. Part of the electric is for the barn, lights and water trough heaters.

Our average high in January was 44F, average lo was 26.5F. Total days lo was under 32 was 25.

Jim
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Old 09-04-2008, 01:15 AM
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Default Re: Heat pump or propane

with out propane at 2.62 per gallon, and a fill costing about 1200.00 and then a top off later in the season, this is going to be better. I did get some charts, his pricing on propane did not go that high, but what he showed my on 1 million btus was impressive.

they will be checking all the ducting under the house, taping up and repairing if needed. Also the trunk line. He was impressed that I had a 2.5 ton unit, which is more than I need really for this house. That is what he is pricing me. All new, nothing of the old will be used, new thermostat too that I can set to cool/warm in the time we are not here, then comfy when we are. I know my current tstat is wrong.

He sells Lennox, totally.......uses the new? r410a freon..........and this is a much more economical to operate system than what I have now. The guy has this same thing at his house, 1.5 times my house size, his electric is about 60.00 less than mine.

seer rating of 14.00. Lennox 13 hpx heat pump, and cbx32m blower coil assembly.

my system was 80% and it has served well, but it is going away.


thanks guys and keep the info coming. if any of this has questionable content please let me know. I dont know much about these.
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Old 09-04-2008, 01:31 AM
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Default Re: Heat pump or propane

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Originally Posted by ddrane2115 View Post
I did get some charts, his pricing on propane did not go that high, but what he showed my on 1 million btus was impressive.


Your system is or was 1 million Btu's??
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:24 AM
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Default Re: Heat pump or propane

I think he was using that as a point to calculate the costs. if it was a million at what he had, I use a bit more than that.............but really not sure. I know that charts can be scued to make anything look good, but I also relying heavily on actual users cost. My boss at work has one, his cost to heat his home, bigger than mine is much less also. his is 5 years old.

thanks again, please keep me sharp on this.
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Old 09-04-2008, 10:25 AM
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Default Re: Heat pump or propane

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddrane2115 View Post
He sells Lennox, totally.......uses the new? r410a freon..........and this is a much more economical to operate system than what I have now. The guy has this same thing at his house, 1.5 times my house size, his electric is about 60.00 less than mine.

seer rating of 14.00. Lennox 13 hpx heat pump, and cbx32m blower coil assembly.
Number one, there are many variables as to why the other guys electric bill is $60 less a month than yours. Don't assume it's just the equipment alone.

Number two, the contractor is quoting you his "bottom of the line" builders grade "Merit" HPX condensing unit (5 year compressor/5 year parts) with a "mid level tier" Elite series" CBX32M air handler instead of the "bottom tier" Merit CBX26UH air handler, which honestly, I'm not sure why considering the fact the guy is quoting you only R-410A (which is the only way to go now, and Carrier has had it out since the mid 90's AKA Puron, so it's far from being "new").

If this guy only sells Lennox, I can't help but wonder why he didn't offer you at least an "Elite" XP13 condensing unit with some nicer features (well worth the little extra difference in cost) as well with a 10 year compressor wrty to go with the Elite series air handler.
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Old 09-04-2008, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: Heat pump or propane

When looking at Heat Pumps from a heating perspective you want to look at the HSPF rating of the system.

I went with Goodman heat pumps. I was able to get 14 Seer R-410A units (~8.2-8.5 HSPF) with a 10 year parts and a 10 year Labor warranty for considerably less than the other brands. I was able to get the lower pricing because I went with a smaller father/son operation. But he was the only guy that took the time to figure out my old system and seemed to know what he was talking about the best. It also turned out that he had the lowest price and I had been referred to him by a friend that had good service from him so it was an easy choice.

I think Goodman has a pretty good reputation these days. From what I understand it is the installation that is as important as the equipment. Get lots of estimates and ask lots of questions - that was an eye opener for me and I had a huge range in the pricing.
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Old 09-04-2008, 12:17 PM
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Default Re: Heat pump or propane

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From what I understand it is the installation that is as important as the equipment. .

That is why manufactures don't put labor warranty allowances on their product. Unless you buy a special labor warranty the dealer puts the labor on it for the first year. This helps ensure proper installation.

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Old 09-04-2008, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: Heat pump or propane

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Originally Posted by PBinWA View Post
I was able to get 14 Seer R-410A units (~8.2-8.5 HSPF) with a 10 year parts and a 10 year Labor warranty for considerably less than the other brands.
How much extra did the 10 year labor warranty add to the cost of the system?
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