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Begreen 07-16-2006 05:07 PM

Heating with a heat pump
Iím starting to rebuild our forced hot air system after getting the house on a new foundation. All ductwork is now well insulated. However, before having a new plenum made up, I am pondering either replacing the propane furnace or just keeping it for backup and switching to a heat pump for primary. We're in the Pacific Northwest, cooled by Puget Sound and have no need for air conditioning, so I am less interested in the SEER efficiency than HSPF.

The newest air heat pumps are getting to the point where they make geothermal less attractive. Can I get some feedback on what systems people are using? What company and model? What climate are you in and how well do you like it for heating? At what temp does the backup heat kick in? What is its age and what was the cost of installation?

inspectorD 07-19-2006 10:24 AM

More info...
Good job on the house... this is a good start for geothermal.

This helps explain and find government help on installing systems.

Good luck.

CraigFL 07-19-2006 11:46 AM

I have a 15 year old heat pump in my vacation home(NW Florida). I'm sure the increased efficiencies of newer systems would be cheaper to run but until it stops working....

I have an American Standard air/air with electric heat backup. Most heatpumps have controls so you can adjust the point(temperature) that the backup heat comes on. Mine is set just above the 1:1 performance coefficient. This means that it uses the heatpump only when it is efficient to do so.

You can find a lot of heat pump information by starting your search from ebay auctions selling them.

Begreen 07-23-2006 07:51 PM

The eBay route was interesting, However, most of them are just extensions of similar budget heating and cooling websites that offer lesser efficiency systems at a reasonable cost. I lack the vacuum pump, guages, flaring tools, and license to handle freon, so unfortunately, DIY is out unless I can get someone to hook up the refrigerant lines and balance the system.

I'm getting a few quotes now. My preference is for a York or maybe Trane system. I have a quote for a Lennox system as well, but they tend to be proprietary which I see as a liability when it comes to parts and service.

glennjanie 07-24-2006 11:31 AM

Hey Begreen:
York has a heat pump that is supplemented with gas. When the same efficency formula is applied to this heat pump as with other gas furnaces, the York gets 130% efficency. Even their compressor is powered by an industrial Briggs and stratton running on natural or LP gas. I use a Trane Geothermal which I wouldn't take a million for but it sounds like the York system would be best for you.

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