Heat pump in IL?

Dorothy.ILJanuary 22, 2012

We're looking at a house in central Illinois that has an exterior York heat pump/AC combo that is labeled "3 ton G/E" and evidently was installed in 1996. The house is on a crawl without a lot of room. I realize it is an old unit, but is a heat pump adequate in this climate? Winter lows can typically be in the 'teens. We're asking about utility costs. We've always had a basement w/ forced air gas furnace.

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This is an all electric home? No natural gas service available?

You better recheck your dates on that outside condenser. GE quit making heat pumps in the 80s when they sold their residential product line to Trane including HP product line which BTW was the very best at that time.

Plus a system even that old would be at the end of a normal lifetime for HPs.

Post back.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 11:47AM
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The OP says he has a York HP... I believe the "3 ton G/E" refers to Gas/Electric.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 11:55AM
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My bad. I stand corrected. Perhaps a package unit.

Need to identify if it is a HP package system or a true gaspak.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 12:08PM
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I hope I didn't sound like I was "correcting" you. :-)

You've helped so many of us over the years and I just wanted to clarify the OP's post.

Thanks for your many contributions!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 12:14PM
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no problem at all. Everyone makes mistakes Including me and I read over the post without properly reading it.

Thanks for the shout out!

best rgds

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 12:33PM
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As far as practicality goes, I run a 3 ton heat pump in upstate NY ... where winter temps can hit minus 10-20 F. The trick of course is to install a 'cutoff' thermostat so that the heat pump stops trying to work at outside temperatures that fall below the 'break-even' point for electrical energy input cust versus auxiliary heat fuel cost. I have a relatively new HEIL unit, with an energy coefficient of up to 3.4 ( = SEER 16 ) ... but even so it hits the 'break even' point versus gas fired auxiliary heat at 37 degrees.

Even with a 37 degree 'cutoff' thermostat installed, my heat pump has actually run several days in January ... and ran for the majority of total hours in December. So yes heat pumps are a practical alternative in colder climates ... as long as you have a 100% auxiliary heat source available.

In terms of a 1996 unit, others have already pointed out that coils and compressors have a finite lifespan. But perhaps more importantly from an overall cost standpoint, the energy efficiency coefficients available on current model heat pumps are far better than they were 15 years ago. So if you live in an area where electricity costs are 10+ cents per kWh, between summer cooling and 'warm winter' heating, you can probably justify the cost of a new high energy efficiency coefficient heat pump on the basis of less than 5 years of power bill savings.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 11:14AM
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I live in down state NY, and am considering A.C. vs Heat Pump to install in my Raised Ranch plus two new additions. My current heat source is Electric baseboard.I have no A.C. currently. I have spray foamed all new walls/roofs as well as existing roof, should be nice and tight. Judging by Green Grandma's post, it would seem that a Heat Pump is a viable option. Any other opinions?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 6:15PM
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