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Thread: Heat Pumps ????

  1. #1
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    Heat Pumps ????

    I have been searching the Internet for plan Jane information about heat pumps. Man all I get is page after page of re-sellers and contractors. Dose anyone here know anything about them or even better have one. It was suggested to me that I buy a heat pump instead of AC. Are heat pumps even useful in our cold climate? Would using one instead of AC save me dollars on my winter or perhaps late fall early spring heating bills?
    Any information would be helpful
    Rob

  2. #2
    Moderator cres's Avatar
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    The basic idea is that it is a reversible air conditioner. i.e. when you want heat, you compress the gas to the interior rad and let it expand to the exterior rad, and run it the opposite for cooling inside.

    I don't know the current take, but, it used to be that the extra cost of a heat pump over a simple air conditioner, would take a very long time to recover in heat bill savings here in Ottawa, or generally in Canada. You still spend electricity to get the heat, so, it isn't free.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

  3. #3
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    I don't know anything about them and want to get as much input as I can so I can come to a educated decision about what I will buy.
    rob

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    Let me tell you that you will save lots of $$$$$ with a heat pump. I currently am a proud owner for 7 years and if i ever move, it will be a must. Since i have had one, my hydro bill has been about $75-$100 less per month over regular electric heating, lets not even compare gas heating. And when i say this, i include AC in the summertime. Before purchasing my heat pump, i have done lots of research and it made a big difference. There are many types/brands/quality you must account. I went with a company called Turcotte, Made in Quebec for our cold winters and luckly for me there were reviews in a local mag on heatpumps and they ranked 1st. When the salesguy came over, he proposed 3 different types. Up to -20, -25, -35. We took the -35 one because we never wanted to turn on conventional heating ever again. Let me tell you that in 7 years, i have never had to turn on the conventionnal heating, even in the ice storm, the pump was purring like a baby. Also, the salesman guaranteed/showed us on paper that to run the ac would cost less that $1 a day....this was demonstrated by an independent study performed in a lab. Also, there is a new tech that has recently emerged is a geothermal heat pump. It costs about +15% more but costs even less to run. They will come with a huge drilling machine and pass 1"-2" tubing in the ground that are pretty long. It takes the hot air in the winter from the ground and the cold air in the summer which makes it cheaper to run. A pump draws most of it's current when it turns on to start the compressor. Also, the lifespan is about 15-20 years. The company sold me a special plan after 5 years which covers everything and in 10 years they give me a new pump w/ducts and circulation fan. Forgot to mention that in the summer time, the system pulls many gallons of water out of the air in my house through the circulation fan. The ROI is really depends on what type of heating system you have. If you have gas well dont even think twice. it will prob take you less than 5 years. If you are using an electric system well it can take 10-15 years but you get an added bonus of having ac in the summer time....this will help your tank and can avoid a chiller.
    "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
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    I am currently on oil and was looking to supplement my current setup. The oil furnace is only 2 years old. Do all heat pumps require lines in the ground? I have seen units on-line that look like AC units.
    Rob

  6. #6
    Former Moderator swiseman's Avatar
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    I have two of them on my house. One is a 1.5 ton and the other is a 3.5. My house is kind of L shaped because we have an inlaw suite behind the garage. I live in Moncton, NB so we get a good bit of cold weather. The standard quote is that you save around 30% over conventional electric basboard heating. it is a forced air system so you need the mechanical duct work through your house. The systems always have some sort of backup furnace attached. Mine is electric, however, if you have natural gas you can have that or propane as your back-up system. The heating fuction is basically useless after -25 degres C. We are heating aproximately 4800 sq feet including the basement and my highest electric bill this winter was $480. During the summer when the AC is on the bills are more in the range of $250 or less. Most estimates I received before the house was built is that the up front cost of the units is recovered in 5-6 years and the units usually carry a 10 year warranty. Your upfront cost would be lower is you already have the duct work in your house.
    If my wife asks, it was only $20.

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    No, i was talking about geothermal pumps. My pump isn't geo thermal. To be honest OSD, if i were you and willing to invest $$$$, dump the oil furnace and get a heat pump. Oil and gas is way too expensive. But you could use it as a supplement by buying a heat pump that goes to -20 and save $$$$. But the savings will be small, maybe 2k. What is your current bill on heating?
    "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
    - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

  8. #8
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    Actually, i forgot to mention that there is another kind of heat pump that is called (translation from french) murale. It's basically a small heat pump outside connected to a head unit placed on a wall in the middle of the house. It doesn't require ducts....which costs more than the heat pump itself but isn't as efficient.
    "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
    - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by mike9515756
    No, i was talking about geothermal pumps. My pump isn't geo thermal. To be honest OSD, if i were you and willing to invest $$$$, dump the oil furnace and get a heat pump. Oil and gas is way too expensive. But you could use it as a supplement by buying a heat pump that goes to -20 and save $$$$. But the savings will be small, maybe 2k. What is your current bill on heating?
    My oil bill this season will end up at about 1470.00 after subtracting rental water heater, parts plan and 1 service for a frozen line. So 1470.00 for oil by its self
    Rob

  10. #10
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    How many square feet is your house per level and how many levels? Is your house attached, semi-detached or not attached?
    "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
    - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

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