Anyone have a heat pump?

Discussion in 'Social Club' started by Bowpredator, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. Bowpredator

    Bowpredator New Member

    Jul 24, 2003
    Licking Missouri
    As most of you know, we are moving. The new place has no central air/heat. It is currently heated with a gas heatilator downstairs and the fireplace upstairs which has a pretty neat blower/ductwork system. We are getting central air and heat and gonna go with electric because we both hate gas. We are planning on getting an outside wood boiler furnace later on so the electric would mainly be a backup system anyway. The heating/cooling guy told us that with the rebates that our electric company gives out for switcing over to electric, a heat pump wouldnt cost much more at all and he is going to give us a bid bothways (with a heat pump and with a regular setup) He says the heat pump really saves a lot on the heating bill but seems like I used to hear people didnt like them much.

    Anyone have any first hand experience with them and what did you think?
  2. I am to be closing on my new house on the 10th of March and it is equipped w/ a heat pump. So I'm anxious to hear some of the thoughts on these as well.

    My buddy has one and says it cut his heating bill almost in half. Says it does a real good job until it gets about 15 degrees outside then his furnace has to kick in to help a little.

  3. henry

    henry Fan Boy aka Mr Twisty and

    I have one. It does a decent job,,but you have to realize that they heat your home with a lower air temp than a conventional furnace. The air coming out of the registers is'nt extremely hot,,it puts out a higher volume of lower temp air to bring the room up to the temp you want. They also don't work much (if any) below 32 degrees. When they first set ours up they thought it would do the job down to 28 degrees,,,and it like to froze us out. But with todays higher gas bills, it does save us money in the early and late parts of heating season. I don't know how it will compare when coupled with an electric furnace. hthrly7 should be able to help answer some questions,,,,,,,,,,I think he knows someone in the heat and air bussiness.

  4. coyotehunter

    coyotehunter PURE KILLER

    Jan 19, 2005
    will keep the electric bill down for sure.but i can't say how much it would save since it has always had one.but if your gonna put in a outside boiler i dont think it would be worth it.but who might save you enough not to put in the boiler and have to cut wood all the time.something i hate to do is cut wood:banghead:
  5. Bowpredator

    Bowpredator New Member

    Jul 24, 2003
    Licking Missouri
    We didnt expect this fireplace to heat the upstairs as well as it does so now we are rethinking things a little. If the heat pump and electric furnace will do a pretty decent job, we might be able to just use the fireplace to lower the electric bills and not install the out side wood furnace at all cause they are kind of high. I might try to get the wife to wait a year on the outside furnace and see how our new setup does through next winter. The main question now will be to heat pump, or not to heat pump.
  6. Thayer

    Thayer New Member

    Dec 17, 2005
    Imperial, Mo
    I have been in the commercial hvac field for over 10 years and was in the residential field for 7 before that....Heat pumps today are much better than they were years ago when the cycle of gas prices rose and heat pumps were more economical...there will always be cycles of elec being more expensive than gas and then it will go the other

    I would get a decent heat pump, back it up with electrical heat, and put your water coil on there too...unless you can really bite the bullet and get a ground source heat pump...those almost pay you to use them. Carrier, Lennox, Trane are all good ones and if you can get those for a decent price, I would do it...make sure you get the new freon ones...R22 is getting phased out and is going to get real expensive soon. u2u me if I can confuse you any further.
  7. Bowpredator--I had a heat pump put on our hunting cabin last year and as Henry said it works well until the temp. hits the low 30's. Make sure that you have heat strips installed in your heat pump( this requires a heavier gauge wire run to the unit) as they do help a little in colder weather. Purchase at least a 13 seer unit for efficiency. My wife and I were at our cabin the first of December when the temp's where -4 degrees, and the heat pump came on about every 10 minutes to maintain a 64 degree cabin, so some back up heat for those really cold day's might be a good idea. With that said, i'm a custom home builder in Scottsdale,Az. and i use Trane or Amana heat pumps on all our houses, with utility bills averaging about 10 cents per square foot per month for a family of 5. Hope this helps!
  8. JMAC

    JMAC Senior Member

    Aug 31, 2005
    Cole County
    I was in the HVAC industry myself for a few years. I second what Thayer said. I guess they're switching everything from R22 to R410A. Carrier has been marketing the 410A for several years under some fancy name that I can't remember right now. R22 does some pretty nasty stuff to ozone. Aparently one molecule of R22 can destroy like 100,000 molecules of ozone or something like that. (Something I learned while taking my EPA certification test). 410A doesn't do that. It's "ozone friendly".

    Heat pumps work real well around this area. Our average winter temps are warm enough where the auxilary heat won't kick on all that often. Mostly at night and those few weeks a year that we have bitter temps. What Henry said is 100% correct. HPs will only blow air somewhere in the neighborhood of 85 degrees or so. A gas furnace will blow air well over 100 degrees. So, beings that our body temp is 98.6 degrees, the air coming out of your vent will feel cool but it will still heat your house. So if your wife likes to stand over the vent to get better have a "plan B".

    Most of you probably know this stuff but I just wanted to add my $.02 worth.
  9. Ok guys finnally something i can help with. I have done hvac since i was about 14. Henry and the rest of you guys here is the fix , what you have to do is have an outdoor thermostat installed on your unit so that when it gets down to freezing it will automatically kick on you electric heat instead. This will keep your heat pump from kicking on and freezing up and it will keep your house from getting cold if you dont have a two stage thermostat that automatically kicks on the electric heat if the temp drops more than five degrees below your setpoint. Like was mentioned earlier if you can your best bet is to go with a groung source because in normal electric heating your energy to heat return rate is 1 to 1. But with a correct ly instaled ground source you should be getting close 1 to 4. So your gonna use a quarter of the electric you would with normal resistance heating. And also if you go with a traditional heat pump make sure they set it up to were if you are more than 5 degrees below your setpoint the back up heat will come on and assist the heat pump stabilize the room temperature to closer to your setpoint and then drop out. It sounds like it would be less efficient this way but it will cut down your run time. Go with the heat pump if you can because simply put electir heat is a direct electrical short through resistance wire that is constantly cooled by a fan to keep it from burning in too. And the energy cost you will save is well more than the initial install cost. And i am in no way affiliated with Nordyne but i highly recommend there equipment. I have installed and repaired every brand out there at one time or another and nordyne equipment has the best warranty out there and they are the most trouble free equipment i have ever seen. Hope this helps .

  10. JMAC

    JMAC Senior Member

    Aug 31, 2005
    Cole County
    Rocko, I haven't dealt with a lot of Nordyne equipment in residential HVAC. In fact, I don't know the first thing about them. Are they made by someone else? (i.e. American Standard IS Trane).

    One thing I want to add to all of this good advice is PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE!!!!! You can't have too much maintenance. A heat pump/air conditioner won't work worth JACK if the coils are not clean. And CHANGE YOUR FILTER REGULARLY. 90% of the service calls I ever went on had to do with one or the other of these previously mentioned problems. If you want to do it yourself, u2u one of us HVAC guys and we can tell you how. If you'd rather have a pro come do it, that's great...but either way, have it done.
  11. Good advice on the maintenance there jm. I used to get so mad get called out on a sunday night at 10 pm because someone decided they couldnt make it till normal hours after all and it just be a filter. And for nordyne they are the brand name. They equipment is Kelvinator, Gibson,Frigidaire etc. Frigidaire is there top of the line but its just like everything else your just buying a better waranty. The main thing i like about them is if your compressor goes out in the first five years they dont just change out the compresor they replace the whole outside unit.
    Hers a link to there website if anyone would like it.

  12. Crappie

    Crappie Slab Master

    We had the frigidaire installed last year. {Nordyne} made in PoplarBluff. The bills are low went with the higher seer rating{13} When it gets to certain temp aux. heat kicks on.{strips} We also have schrader wood stove we back up with. Hard to get away from wood heat. Its warm and used it all my life..
  13. Who put your system in Crappie? Was it precision? I think dave is the only one putting them in here. Hes a goood guy i worked for him for about a year.

  14. Crappie

    Crappie Slab Master

    Yes Dave did. He use to be my neighbor behind the elks lodge.
  15. Crappie

    Crappie Slab Master

    Glad to see someone else is up at 4am. I've worked nights for 16 yrs and I'm all messed up on he weekends.Kevin
  16. This is my last one for the winter. Back to days starting tomorow. And yeah i worked for him when he was building his new house. His head service guy Matt is my best freind. Dave is one crazy sob aint he.

  17. Crappie

    Crappie Slab Master

  18. Chairman

    Chairman Senior Member

    Dec 2, 2002
    Henry County
    We went with a heat pump, for the very first time, a little over 6 years ago.

    I too had reservations, but with our electric co. offering lower rates between October/May for customers with heat pumps & financing with low interest rates, we took the plunge.

    We've never had any problems (so far), so we're not sorry for going this route. It's a Lennox, with an electric furnace for back-up.
  19. Bowhuntr

    Bowhuntr New Member

    Jun 25, 2005
    The most important thing with a heat pump is the installation.If it is not sized corerctly or ducted out right you will never be happy with it.The temperature at which a heat pump can't keep up is called balance point. York for years has had this incorporated in their microprocessor.This is usally between 28-32 Deg F.At around 10-15 Deg F you need to lock out the heat pump F as it is costing you close to what the auxillary electric heat would cost you to heat your house. That is the heat pump lock out temperature.
    There are a few manufactors who are making heat pumps with gas heat back up in a package model. Carrier is one that I have seen.
    As far as the new refrigerant it is called Puron.It is a lot more expensive then R-22 for now.
    .For now a 30# drum of R-22 is about 60 bucks compared to Puron which is over 350 bucks. For now the Puron and the units with it are a little more expensive.Any unit made after Jan1 is supposed to be Puron anyway.There are still some R-22 in stock in warehouses.I just installed a 5 ton gas pack with R-22 and it was $360.00 cheaper to buy then a new unit with Puron.
    Here in the south heat pumps are the ticket,I would problaby would like to have some other type of back up if it was a colder climate as you have there.
    I have installed heat pumps with a hot water coil for heat being fed from a "stoker house" by a small hot water pump. Works great and you can burn almost anything in it.
    Again make sure it is installed correctly.
  20. Bowpredator

    Bowpredator New Member

    Jul 24, 2003
    Licking Missouri
    Thanks for all the great info guys. Ok, how bout this. If we went with the heat pump and still did the outside wood boiler with a hot water coil for heat, could we eliminate the electric furnace backup altogether and would it save very much? It just seem like having an electric furnace, a heat pump, an outside wood boiler, and a fireplace that has a blower system of its own that puts out a lot of heat just by itself, is a lot of over kill. The outside wood boiler is very attractive to us because there is a good size barn near the house we would like to heat with it too.