Replacing electric central furnace with heat pump

andrewlippertNovember 19, 2010

We are considering a replacement of our 27 year old central electric resistance furnace with a heat pump. We have duct work. Which should we consider - ductless or ducted heat pump?

Any additional recommendations on manufacturer or specific unit would be greatly appreciated. Here's the stats:

2240 square feet, 2 story house just north of Seattle. Air return is upstairs. 4 bedrooms around a central hallway upstairs. Principal need is heat, but a little A/C on the 3-4 summer days that get hot is also nice.

For a ductless install, we have plenty of power in the box, could mount the external unit right outside the breaker box, run the refrigerant lines about 30 feet through the garage and mount in a nice spot on the first floor.

For a ducted, we'd need to add a bit of expense to build a pad for the compressor, but there is a good spot right outside the garage near the existing furnace.

We are moving quickly in an attempt to capitalize on the tax credits and local PUD promotions.

We had a recommendation and quote last night from a local dealer for A Fujistu 24RSLX ductless for $6600 installed (which seems very high to me).

We'd love to hear professional opinions from those more experienced with this type of situation! Thanks all.

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If power isn't an issue, I don't see the benefit of going with a ductless unit, especially if you have ductwork in place. A typical split system would be roughly the same cost. Building a pad probably isn't necessary - most units are mounted on pre-fabricated pads. Was there a reason why ductless was recommended over ducted?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 7:22PM
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I am also opposed to ductless since you have a ductwork system in place. not certain why it would even be considered.

however, dealer will need to perform a professional load calc for correct sizing for split system and make an evaluation of your ductwork system as far as adequate sizing both supply and return lines, leals, insulation qualities, etc.

these are my minimum specs for a new HP system. both outside and inside units should be replaced to have a properly matched system.

15 SEER, 12.5+ EER, 9 HSPF
best matching VS air handler
full BTUs in both cooling and heating for your rated size
R-410a refrigerant(same as Puron)
scroll compressor preferred
electronic demand defrost preferred
thermostat with "dehumidify on demand" feature
staged backup heat strips
new and correctly sized refrigerant lineset

you want a thorough inspection of your ductwork system. size, overall condition, supply and return lines, insulation qualities, leak test, etc.

any hot/cold spot issues in your home should be addressed.

I would only use authorized dealers for the various brands that provide quotes. see mfg websites.

I would look at Trane/AmStd,Rheem,Carrier/Bryant.

a pad for the outside HP condenser is relatively inconsequential whether poured(which I prefer) or preformed. matching new and correctly sized refrigerant lineset would be required along with a good thermostat. you will also need a backup heat strip for those cold days which I will assume presents no problem.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 8:26PM
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don't go ductless. You definitely want the system that hooks up to the ductwork. Its a no-brainer.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 8:13PM
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