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Heat Pump

Rich L.
Rich L. Member Posts: 414
Every step you move up the ladder in efficiency will save you money in the long run, period. I would seriously consider the 16 SEER unit with the Puron (which is refrigerant 410A). R22 based equipment is being phased out and will no longer be manufactured after 2010. R22 will be available long after that I'm sure but most likley at much higher costs.

I assume the Evolution system you're looking at is an air to air heat pump. These work efficiently down to about 38 degrees above zero. Below that it has to work much harder in the heating mode and the efficiencies drop off dramatically. Because of this you would still need either a fossil fuel furnace or electric resistance heating elements in the air handler (the "inside" part). I would probably question the three year payback statement, That sounds very aggressive and optimistic.

One consideration also, does your electric or oil company offer and incentives or rebates for high efficiency equipment? This can help offset the higher costs of the more efficient units.

Good luck, Rich L


  • Marc_16
    Marc_16 Member Posts: 2
    Whether to choose a heat pump?

    My wife and I are renovating our home in Connecticut and we are completely replacing the HVAC system. We're trying to figure out cost vs. benefit analysis in choosing equipment. The HVAC contractor is selling Bryant equipment. The base system offered to us is a hydronic heating system (we'd get an oil burner since we don't have gas) with a 13 SEER air conditioning compressor and a single speed fan. For an upcharge from the base system, we would get a 13 SEER compressor with a variable speed fan. For an additional upcharge from the base system, we would get a 16 SEER system (which uses puron instead of freon) with a variable speed fan. The largest upcharge is to go to the Evolution system, which is a heat pump with a two speed compressor (at a 16 or 18 SEER I think), a variable speed fan and a special thermostat.

    The HVAC contractor says the Evolution system is the most energy efficient, but is it worth the extra cost since we're in a cold climate? The HVAC contractor says the Evolution system should pay for itself in around 3 years. With oil prices rising so dramatically, the heat pump seems to make the most sense.

    I'd appreciate any advice in choosing a system. Thanks.
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,392
    I Don't

    know what rates are in CT but on LI it's 20 cents KWH.At those rates and the climate air to air heat pumps are a bad investment.Now,geothermal OTOH...

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  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,392

    type of distribution?Hydroair? If so consider separate heating/cooling systems

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  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    A heat pump

    would only be good for milder weather. As cold as it gets in CT, you need something else to back it up. Most heat pumps use electric-resistance backups, which are extremely expensive to run.

    A hydronic heat system using heat emitters in the rooms (instead of "hydro-air" duct coils) would be the way to go for maximum comfort and efficiency in the winter. There are boilers available that can be fired by oil, or natural or propane gas. This would give you the most flexibility currently available.

    Whatever system you choose, insulate the heck out of the house. This will let you use smaller equipment which costs less to buy and to run.

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  • Marc_16
    Marc_16 Member Posts: 2
    Evolution System

    I'm told the Evolution system is a two-stage system. In moderately cold temperatures (up to 40 degrees outside), the heat pump would provide heat. When it gets too cold for the heat pump to operate efficiently, my boiler would kick in. They say that in the moderately cold temperature, the heat pump is cheaper to run than the boiler. Not sure that's true.
  • don_192
    don_192 Member Posts: 45
    Its true

    Anyone to say that its cheaper to generate heat and then transfer it verse, just transfering it are not paying close attention to the math.

    Run the numbers on a air to air heatpump sometimes and check the capacity at lets say 10 degree.I'll bet you would be surpise to find that its still transfering a good amount of heat.

    The only concern I would have with using a air to air heatpump in a cold climate would be....if they got many of days with wet snow and freezing rains.

  • Tom Blackwell_2
    Tom Blackwell_2 Member Posts: 126

    The secret to heating with a high efficiency heat pump is to size it for the HEATING load, rather than the cooling load. This will result in a grossly oversized unit for cooling, but the 2-speed units will do an adequate job of dehumidification. The 16 seer units will go down to about 15 degrees before the COP drops off below that of electric heat. Realize that even when sized properly, the unit will need additional heat to serve the load as outdoor temperatures drop. An oil furnace for supplemental heat will certainly be less expensive to operate per btu than electric resistance, but the additional equipment cost will add to the payback period. Ask your contractor to do a bin analysis of the various options and make the decision based on these numbers. Be sure he uses real numbers for fuel cost and equipment efficiencies.
  • David_5
    David_5 Member Posts: 250

    You don't say if you are getting a new boiler. If you are you could do better than Bryant. If the cost of the higher seer equipment is putting you off you can get lower seer equipment and still do the heatpump. I would go with a Puron (R-410) system no matter what seer you use. This two stage setup is not new, we were doing it 20 years ago. If it were me I would do the heatpump at 16 seer.

  • allan_7
    allan_7 Member Posts: 55
    Never heard.............

    of this so-called "secret"... and do not believe it for a nano-second.

    Recommend you re-check your theory, try ACCA or ASHRAE, not your special "secret".

This discussion has been closed.