Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Options for supplementing heat pump heat output

Hello all. I have just moved into a new house located in NW Maryland near the PA border. I made the mistake of allowing my contractor to install a dual zone Heat Pump system instead of a forced air oil furnace. Now that winter has come my wife has constant complaints that the house in not warm and the air coming out of the vents is initially cold. I also have two bedrooms that sit mostly above an unheated garage and are always too cold. Anyway, I am trying to determine if I should install a warm air coil, heated by water from the electric water heater, in the existing air handler’s or install electric radiant heat mats in the upstairs bedrooms. Any other suggestions as to the most cost effective way to supplement the heat pump would be appreciated


  • Ron Schroeder_2
    Ron Schroeder_2 Member Posts: 176

    First, check and see how well the garage ceiling is insulated. If it is not at least R30, blow it full of cellulose.

    Check to make sure the blower is not set too high. It should be about 300 to 400 cfm/ton.

    A hot water coil from an electric hot water tank will not use any less energy than getting the same amount of heat from the heat strips that you probably already have in the air handler.

    Depending on how your heat pump coil is attached, you may be able to replace your air handler with a furnace below the heat pump coil. You could also add a boiler and baseboards. Your local costs of oil, propane or natural gas should help you select which is the best fuel for your area.

    I too have a heat pump (geothermal) but I heat with oil (hydronic) for both comfort and cost. I use the heat pump only for air conditioning.

  • Dale
    Dale Member Posts: 1,317
    Used to forced air

    If you're used to FA you could put in a nat gas furnace to replace the HP air handler and buy the staging control to only use the HP if the outdoor temp is above 40 degrees or so. Or, just put in a boiler and use the HP as backup and AC.
  • RonTC
    RonTC Member Posts: 13
    Heat Pump Comfort Problems

    Instead of going the hot water coil way with the electric water heater, add more electric heat to the air handler. also add a variable speed controller to the blower to decrese air flow and increase discharge tempature. check out fanhandler.com for more info on the variable speed controller. Ron Hartzheim Town & Country Mechanical Richmond, Va
  • Lonnie Paschall
    Lonnie Paschall Member Posts: 2


    I am seriously considering the AirHandler for my Heat pump system. As I continue my research I have heard caution against varying the speed of some motors. Also isnt there some concern if the air speed is too low when the AC is on. I currently have two Goodman Air handlers and Heat Pumps. The downstairs unit is a AR48-1 with a 2.6AMP 1/2HP motor. The upstairs unit which I want to use the FanHandler with is a AR30-1 with a 1.95Amp 1/3HP motor. The upstairs unit is mounted in the unheated attic along with all the ductwork. So not only is the CFM way to high (it shuts doors when it comes on) the air in the ductwork is like 40 degrees when it the fan comes on full force. I have a pan with drain pipes in the Attic, so I assume if the CFM is too low for AC and I get condensation it willust drain in the pan and I can adjust full speed airflow until it is eliminated.


  • Wayne_12
    Wayne_12 Member Posts: 62
    heat pump air flow/temp rise

    I have no problems in using the fan Handler system. They make a great product and work with most motors. The seldom motor that may not work, probably is not worth using away.

    Check the temperature rise across the indoor coil. Then select the proper fan speed to deliver about 100 degrees after the coil. The unit should specify the temperature rise across the air handler. The temperature at a duct will be less.
This discussion has been closed.