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Heat Pump

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We are thinking of installing a heat pump. Our existing system is a 90+ eff. LP furnace and central air. Furnace is about 24 years old and Air Conditioner is about 18. Can any one give an idea on what we would save on our energy bills? If we went with a new heat pump we would get a high efficiency model.

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We just put in a new furnace and heat pump. The old furnce and ac was 24 years old. It had a cracked heat exchanger we found in April and the ac had a ser of 8.

After they checked the whole house, it was costing us $22.95 for 1,000,000 btus of LP heat. We were using about 1000 gals a year. The heat pump for the same 1,000,000 btu should cost about $9.56 with off peak power. the heat pump is a ser 16. The new furnce is a 95+ eff. The heat pump will work down to 20 degrees and the furnce will take over.

I also bought my own 1000 gallon LP tank, so I can fill when the price is the best, in summer and from who I want to get gas from. Thats something you can't do if you lease a tank. I would think that will last me a year at least. Yes, I spended a lot of money, but I am planning on not moving for a long time.

I have been doing about checking about Geo-themal for the shop and maybe adding to the house, but thats down the road a year or two.

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For more reasons then I wont to try to tell here, I think a heat pump running

in Mn. is a waste of money (air to air) system.

Geo-Themal is much more cost effective, if you have access to a good water supply.

The new 95% furnaces are way to expensive to repair at this time. Maybe in 10 yr.

But not now. Go with a 93% single stage. Not a variable speed model.

The best way to save money on heating bills is to have a energy audit dun.

Not just a heat loss calculation from a HVAC company.

More often then not, more insolation, new windows + doors will return your

money much faster then anything else. And you never have to pay a repair man

to fix any of it.

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I don't know what a heat pump system is or how it works so this may not be applicable.

If your goal is primarily to save heating cost, you have to remember to consider the cost of installation of the new system and how long it will take to recover that cost based on the annual savings.

For example, when I bought my house the fuel oil forced air funace was very old. So old in fact that the local Lennox dealer couldn't find the serial number in their records. I inquired about possibly upgrading to new considering the improved efficiency of the newer models.

I was told that my old furnace probably ran about 60% efficient and the newer replacements would be about 83%, which from my research is about as good as it gets for that type of system. They told me that it wouldn't be worth the expense to do it if my only goal was to save on annual fuel cost.

I decided to do the math myself and confirmed that it would take nearly 20 years to recoup the cost of the new furnace and its installation cost. In which case, that furnace would then be due for replacement being 20 years old. Purely on the merit of the annual fuel savings it wasn't worth the expense.

In the end, I was forced to upgrade about 5 years later anyway because the heat exchanger rusted out.

I had recently considered a solar heating system. Based on our location it was estimated that the system could supply about 30% of our annual electric needs.

After doing the math, I figured that unless electricity really started to climb in price, I couldn't recoup the cost of installation in my lifetime on the annual savings I would gain.

Just food for thought. I think if you have goals of saving fuel, cutting environmental emmissions, and if the new system can be expected to last long enough to recoup cost then it's a good investment.

I recently looked into insalling solar electric panels on my roof. Based on my location it was estimated that the panels could supply about 30% of my annual electric needs. That's a 30% savings and one would think worthwhile.

I've heard about those heat pump systems but I've never looked into them to find out what they are and how they work.

Bob

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I am thinking of Geo Thermal but living in town, not to sure we will have enough room for 3 wells. The biggest reason we are thinking of doing something is the central air unit just doesn't seem to want to keep up on the real warm days. Thought with the age of the system we should think about upgrading.

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My daughter in Sioux Falls, SD just installed a geo-thermal heat pump. Total cost with 4 wells was $ 16,000, which I think was very good. Their monthly expenses now are just $ 25 for electricity. I want to see what it's going to do this winter but I am almost sold on it.

My monthly propane bill only is around $ 300, I figure it will take 5 years to come up even.

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I also installed a air source heatpump and new furnace last spring with a total cost of 5500 bucks doing a large part of the install myself. Would have preferred a geothermal but I would not have reoovered the 12,000 bucks additional over the 20 years lifespan of the systems. I will be doing the savings analysis of the system over my old system this winter by comparing the therms used over last year per degree heating days. Old system was a 70 percent furnace and a 6-8Seer A/c. New system is a 95 percent single stage furnace and a 16 seer 3 ton heat pump. A control box lets the heat pump work down to 20 degrees and if it can't keep up then kick over to the furnace. My old natural gas bill was 102 dollars per month and this includes the hot water heater and the dryer. At current prices my heat expense would have to drop to zero to recover the additional cost of the geothermal. I have already done the insulation, windows etc and the house is as energy efficient as reasonably possible. Thus a hybrid system was my choice at this time. If energy costs really jump then the geo would have saved me money. A second consideration was the ability to run the furnace off a generator which I can do if we have a power outage. Usually we have a extended outage once a year. Luckily they have been summer in the past but you never know. With a geo system drawing 40 amps at 220 volts, I would need 8800 watts to run the geo and since you want to double the size of the generator from that I would need 15000 watts of generator to run it. Now it works easily on the 5000 watt generator I have. Of course, this doesn't mean I have A/C in summer as this draws 30 amps at 220.

With the heat pump handling the transition months of Sept, Oct, November, late Feb, March, April and early may I anticipate a 35 percent reduction in use of gas( therms per heating degree day during season) and the more efficient furnace will also drop my gas costs. Thus a hybrid system was the most cost efficient for me. Overall, geothermal is the most efficient heating/cooling system for operating costs existing at this point but infrastructure costs during the installation result in marginal advantage in overall operating costs. However, this would be for a average home of 1200-1550 square feet on foundation. As a structure gets larger or is less energy efficient in its construction the cost advantages of geothermal is increased. thus you should do a cost analysis of your home or structure in making your decision. In these cases the long term cost advantage of geothermal can be very substantial.

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