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can I add propane backup to this existing heat pump system?

BoonBoon Member Posts: 238
Hey folks, Is adding propane backup to a heat pump system as 'easy' as removing the resistance grids and adding an exchanger for the propane? Seems wasteful to remove the existing stuff & start over, unless it could be donated or something. Thanks.

Here is a picture of what my system is now:


Here are the specs:


DIY'er ... ripped out a perfectly good forced-air furnace and replaced it with hot water & radiators.

Comments

  • pecmsgpecmsg Member Posts: 946
    First get some supports running length wise on that cabinet. Its flexing in the middle.

    Yes a furnace could be added but is it worth the trouble. The only thing you'd keep is the A coil, everything else gets changed possibly duct work as well.
  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 5,293
    Dave,
    I'll be glad to give you an estimate if you want.

    The AHU would get replaced with a gas furnace and evaporator coil. It's very feasible and a good option considering how cold it stays up there on the mountain.
    Bob Boan


    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • ratioratio Member Posts: 2,132
    Not a swapout of the heat strips, the whole air handler is swapped out for a furnace. The A-coil should be able to be reused but may need some rework.

    Is there a pan under that unit now? I'd suggest one, with a float switch &| alarm on it. It's a smart investment.

  • BoonBoon Member Posts: 238
    It might be a little early for an estimate, Bob. Hmm. Maybe not. We have an architect working on remodel plans and we’ll be adding a couple bedrooms + and trying to help out a budget in this project. We can probably wait until you’re less busy. I don’t see an upgrade happening for a few months, at least.

    I’ll see if I can add some support. There is no pan. Probably a good idea though. Thanks.
    DIY'er ... ripped out a perfectly good forced-air furnace and replaced it with hot water & radiators.
  • unclejohnunclejohn Member Posts: 1,420
    How cold does it get in the crawl space. You will need a 90+ system.
  • BoonBoon Member Posts: 238
    Crawl space has been around 50 degrees.
    DIY'er ... ripped out a perfectly good forced-air furnace and replaced it with hot water & radiators.
  • unclejohnunclejohn Member Posts: 1,420
    That will be fine just a shame since your existing is so new.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,144
    Boon, is this your rental property?
  • BoonBoon Member Posts: 238
    No. We just bought this house a month ago. It is a second home for now but will become a primary in this year.

    Maybe this is normal performance for a heat pump under the circumstances but the comfort is as close to unacceptable as I've ever experienced.
    DIY'er ... ripped out a perfectly good forced-air furnace and replaced it with hot water & radiators.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,144
    It would be difficult for me to leave a hydronic heated home to go to FAF.
    Have you considered installing hydronic, keeping the HP for shoulder seasons, cooling and backup?

    HP moves air all the time. The new houses that I have done seem comfortable to the homeowners. I put in an excessive number of supply runs/floor diffusers, more than the minimum return grills/ducts. It seems if you can not feel the air move you can tolerate the system. If it was installed on existing ductwork it usually comes up short.
    Tstat might show 70 but if you feel any draft at all it is uncomfortable.
  • BoonBoon Member Posts: 238
    It seems if you can not feel the air move you can tolerate the system

    I've experienced this! I believe it.

    Having recently ripped out a FAF in favor of radiant we are prone to doing it again. In fact I just finished the room by room calc this morning and was starting to think about emitters.
    DIY'er ... ripped out a perfectly good forced-air furnace and replaced it with hot water & radiators.
  • mikeg2015mikeg2015 Member Posts: 1,040
    Ironically in the summer you want the opposite for cooking. Underside slight,y get humidity down and long run times and use fewer supplies but large commercial registers. Cut overall installation costs running 5 8” runs than 8 or 10 6”. Smaller unit needs less air movement so heat pump feels less drafty. Runs out of capacity right about where it’s mess economical and starts to defrost a lot.
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