Best Whole House Heat Pump???

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Thanks, but I don't do facebook or any social media.

I think there may be home building forums in general, but then again this is the reason I joined House Repair

I would think installing HVAC in a new home would be similar to installing on in a barndominiums
Yeah, I agree with you on facebook. I was thinking maybe other builders could share how they overcame the smothering impact of codes, rules and regulations. A local mechanical contractor told me that if he heard that someone was getting multiple estimates he added a thousand or so to his estimate.

A "rule of thumb" comparison with a somewhat similar bardominium in your general area could prove beneficial.

I get by with a single point PTHP because I don't have anyone isolated behind closed doors. IOW no teenagers. My system might not work for the next occupant but I have no plans to sell.
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In my county they require following some international building code (I don't remember the exact name) which I think it mostly best practices... but they do not come out and do inspections since I'm outside of the city limits.

The county does issue a building permit and they want to know about the septic system to make sure it is up to snuff, other than that there are no restrictions.

I'm not opposed to following best practices for a safe structure and will be documenting every part of the build with pictures and documents. Plus I'll have an inspector come look at the foundation, the structure itself, the wiring and the plumbing and keep his reports on file.

That way, whoever gets the property after me will have records of how everything was done and this will also be helpful if I ever sell the place.
Do you think our friend somehow missed that this is a DIY forum‽
I am far from your friend, and being a DIY network has not a damn thing to do with following the law, no matter how stupid it may be. How moronic can one be to think that a homeowner should be excused from doing what is right.

In a forum like this it's the job of those who know the rules of the game to lead those who need the help down the right road, not egg them on in doing something that can hurt either their pocket book or their health. I can see from multiple posts in this thread from you that you either do not have that same view, or you just have no idea of what you are talking about. I think it might be a combination of both.

I noticed you refuse to defend your moronic statement about building code.
You must be a liberal... I did not say mark up was greed.

I'm saying excessive mark up is greed. Please read ALL of what people say before jumping to conclusions, that way you aren't misquoting people if that matters to you at all.

No, I never doubted for a minute that you are the world's foremost authority on all things. I totally get it and understand with whom I'm dealing with!

Some of them actually are and are willing to let me buy the hardware and they charge for their time and expertise getting it all up and running.

No need to worry about me. I'll be having a licensed professional do the hookup so I can enjoy having the manufacturers warranty!

It was so nice you could take time out of your busy schedule to spend with us here today! :thumb:
Any time you want to test my political ideology, I welcome you.

Your words: "I'm simply saying the mark up is pure greed!", and then you went on to make a claim about 4 and 5x mark up and you are wrong.

I already understand who holds the upper hand in terms of authority here , and it certainly isn't you. Remember, you are the one asking the questions here, not me. You just don't enjoy having your ignorant BS called out in public.
Any system design no matter how much expertise is touted by a seller becomes a compromise in the real world. The ideal would be for a temperate zone where the heat and cooling requirements were equal however one would still experience short cycling for the in between seasons. In Texas the system would prolly have to be designed for max cooling which means more short cycling during the heating season. Current systems with variable speed compressors are more forgiving. Modern systems also provide heat at much lower outside temperatures but the sellers fail to mention parity which is the point where heat pumps cross into inefficiency due to time spent in defrost. In my area we just went through a mild winter thus more short cycling than usual but nothing to be alarmed about. A grossly overrated system would result in more short cycling but even systems designed by rule of thumb can work out rather well with variable speed compressors. IOW if I canvassed new installations for similar dwellings in my area and simply followed suit for BTU sizing I would be in the ball park.
  • Cooper & Hunter Sophia Series.
  • Pioneer Diamante Ultra Series.
  • Senville Aura Series.
I know this thread is a bit old, but thanks to the posters here for information and opinions. Too bad that it got personal. This site has always been a great place where DIYers meet pros.

I've been considering a heat pump for heat and AC in the Pittsburgh area. I like the idea of leaving fossil fuels behind but understand that right now and for a few years to come gas will be cheaper than electricity for heating. Can a heat pump supply enough heat for this region?
Yes. A range of modern heat pumps are designed for cold weather, from every major supplier, and perform well much further north than Pittsburgh. For real-world examples see:
Picking the right 'cold weather' model, correct sizing and proper installation are obviously key. '

(1) Cold weather' models are spec'd by the manufacturer, so be sure to check the details. And compare SEER2 and HPSF2 performance ratings. See this good explanation from Carrier:

(2) Sizing should always be based on 'Manual J' calculations, but I have yet to meet an HVAC contractor that actually uses Manual J; most say something like "I've been doing this for X years and based on the square footage of your home I know it will need YYY." In short, the old and inaccurate "rule of thumb". You can buy inexpensive software or use an online system to calculate your own Manual J numbers, which I highly recommend. For example: You will find that accurate Manual J sizes are typically significantly smaller than "rule of thumb" recommendations, particularly if you have a well-insulated home. If you don't want to do your own Manual J calculations, ask the contractors to supply a Manual J sizing report along with their bid. If they decline or claim "That's not necessary!", move on.
(3) Other options to consider: If you currently have an old forced air system, for example, you will probably need to replace the 'air handler' (fan) with a much more efficient variable speed air handler with an ECM motor. If someone in your household has allergies, consider adding a more effective air filter system, e.g.

(4) Insulation: Is your home well insulated and air sealed? This is the best and most cost efficient upgrade you should make, before you install a heat pump. See:

(45 Proper installation: Good installation is obviously essential. Here is one common flaw: The lines from the heat pump inro your home carry hot (winter) or cold (summer) that you paid $$ for. However, I have yet to see a contractor protect these lines with real insulation. They typically wrap the lines with 1/2" or 1" thick foam sleeves, which are quick and easy to install but provide only ~R3. See the photo below for example. The lines should be protected with thick insulation (~R10+) and shielded from sun damage. The line set should also be separate, not wrapped together. On a recent project where the lines ran up the side of the house, we built a 'chase' on the exterior wall lined with 2" thick polyiso foam board, with two separate channels. Premade 'line covers' are also available that can be filled with insulation, which also prevent sun damage and create a smooth, professional appearance. (Run one line in each cover, not both together.) See:

I hope this is helpful.
Very helpful, thank you.

It seems you favor the heat pump feeding an air handler. Any thoughts on going ductless. (1080 sqft; basement slightly smaller)
I know this thread is a bit old, but thanks to the posters here for information and opinions. Too bad that it got personal. This site has always been a great place where DIYers meet pros.

I've been considering a heat pump for heat and AC in the Pittsburgh area. I like the idea of leaving fossil fuels behind but understand that right now and for a few years to come gas will be cheaper than electricity for heating. Can a heat pump supply enough heat for this region?
Our 20+ year old Haier unit, in south east Michigan, supplies plenty of BTU to keep the house at 78-F until the outdoor temperature drops below about 36-F. Then, auxiliary heat would be energized. It is using a Hi-Velocity brand mini duct system because we have hydronic heat.

As BvilleBound mentioned, the new ones can heat in quite low ambients. I know someone who lives at the tip of Michigan's upper peninsula's Keweenaw peninsula and their backup heat only energizes at about (-) 5-F.

Our heat pump is our "backup" in case the hydronic system is down for repair. (The heat pump option for the outdoor unit was a promotional freebie at the wholesaler, which is why I installed it. We use it primarily as an air conditioner in summer.)

Note that I studied and did all manner of calculations to find that per BTU/Hr, the gas boiler (60% Efficiency, 73 years old) is far less expensive to operate than the heat pump. For you, it will depend on your utility costs.

PS: You asked about ductless. If you mean mini-splits, they can work very well, too and come in low ambient versions. Quick and easy DIY installation is a bonus. (They, and the line set are pre-charged.)
I have been working on project to replace 2 furnaces in our home. We are in NW Ohio and have forced air and central AC. One guy I had out suggested we put in a heat pump leiu of an regular condenser. He suggests that would supply much of the heat requirement as well as the AC thus saving LP. The furnaces are LP. The cost is a little more or course. Does it sound like a good idea? Should I expect to see overall operating savings? I know it's a somewhat vague question without knowing the LP and electric costs. But generally speaking any thoughts?
same dilemma. I haven't found any way to predict energy costs or time to recoup price of installation.
I have the option of staying with Nat. gas, but I want to do what I can for the environment. Unfortunately don't have the bucks to throw at it.

LP is pricier than gas, so your recoup time will be less.
Only 2 inch diameter duct work?
I always thought ducts were a lot larger than that.

What's the size of norm,al ducts?
Our mini duct has an 8" main trunk with 2" take-offs to each vent.

The brand, Hi-Velocity, has a Design Assistance Manual that you can download free. It explains well.

We use it for cooling and humidifying with a steam humidifier. You can also use it for heating with a resistance coil or a heat pump outdoor unit. (Our heating is hydronic.) Our outdoor unit is heat pump capable, but we'd lose zoning- and electricity is costly here.