heat pump vs. a/c

rbon269May 10, 2011

Hi I'm a new member and wanted some opinions whether I should install a 95% propane furnace with a electric heat pump (13 seer) or the furnace with a 13 seer a/c. I live in SE Michigan and have a 1000 sq. ft. house. Our electric is .06/kw hr. and propane is running 1.79 Look forward to some advice. Thanks

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what size/eff furnace are you replacing?

what size AC?

if your rates are accurate, I would consider a HP vs a straight AC condenser.

How are the insulation properties of your home?

see fuel comparison calculator link.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 3:19PM
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heat pump shouldn't cost much more than A/C. Good heatpumps have lots of controls (high/low pressure valves). And can last a long time. If .06 per kw/hr is your total price then definitely get a heatpump. Thats cheap. I prefer heatpump heat when milder out (30 and above). The long runs of warm air evenly heat rooms.

If your replacing the airhandler, I would get the highest efficiency single stage. It shouldn't cost much more. That would be like 15 seer with the air handler.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 9:39AM
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I'm putting in a 57,000 btu 95% furnace along with it. The system will use the heat pump above 30 degrees then the furnace will kick in below that. As far as the insulation properties are concerned we need new windows. It's pretty drafty right now. The heat pump is also only $500 more. Thanks for the replies I really appreciate it.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 12:16PM
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what size furnace/AC are you replacing?

the 57 KBTU model is a sgl stg or two stg var speed?

57 K seems grossly oversized for a 1000 sq ft home. I would request a load calc.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 12:27PM
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minimun effieicncy heat pump with high efficiency furnace?
guess that is the difference between heating & cooling climates!

rbon, air sealing is a good investment as is
duct sealing. windows cost a lot and only provide
a 15% energy savings. adding storm windows may be a less costly way to address the window leakage.

stopping air leakage into the house will make it easier
to heat and cool. reducing ductleakage will put all the air you pay to heat and cool into the house.
this is a good investment with a fast payback that improves comfort, reduces utility costs, and improves
indoor air quality.
always air seal before insulating.
blower door tests and duct testing are small investments to make to know where leaks are and how to seal them

best of luck.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 11:54AM
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The load calc. was 37,000. The furnace is a 2 stage. Am I wrong in thinking the furnace would do a better job by itself or no. I was told the heat pump would save $. I did the calc. and for 100,000 btu of heat propane was 2.09 and electricity was 1.03 or something close to that.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 12:29PM
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Usually, you program your thermostat to let the HP and furnace overlap each other. That is, the lowest temp for the HP might be 28F and the highest temp for the furnace might be 38F. In that 10* zone, the furnace can help the HP keep up.

It will depend on the efficiency of the HP (higher HSPF works down to a lower temp) and the cost of your propane (more cost means activate at a lower temp).

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 11:19PM
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