Getting a more efficient heat pump

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On Wed, 19 Sep 2007 01:40:52 GMT, Robert Allison

Thanks for the recommendation of the chart.
It is hard for me to trust HVAC people on such matters. Last year my parents got new units for two houses. One has two stories, six bedrooms, 5.5 baths, and seven other rooms and they sized it at 2 tons. Now the inside of their house is mildewing because it can't keep it cool or dry. The other house is one small story, three bedrooms, two baths, 2 other rooms, and they (different person) sized it at 4 tons. I told my parents that, if anything, they should have put the 4 ton unit in the big house and the 2 ton unit in the small house.
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Jud McCranie wrote:

All you need to do is hang around here for a while (or, better still, alt.hvac) to know that there are plenty of alleged "professionals" in the business who don't know squat.
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wrote:

Na... you're doing just fine!
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Jud McCranie wrote:

They first should have gotten a heat load on both homes to show them what proper size was needed.
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Jud McCranie wrote:

Hi, If that pump has been running well, it has few more years life left. B4 you decide to spend for upgrading, how about air tightness(insulation) of your house? SEER 10.5 is of course outdated to today's standard but to get real improvement you have to deal with whole package, not only one component of a system.(like air handler, etc.) What is your electric rate? I pay 7 cents/KWh.
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It varies according to the season and according to how much you use. It is higher in the summer. The first 1000 kWh are one rate, then it goes up. Then it goes up again at 2500 or something like that. I think the top rate is over 10 cents / kWh and we hit that in the summer.
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Jud McCranie wrote:

Hi, I see. I live up here in Calgary Alberta. For next 5 years my rate is locked in at 7 cents per KWh. If ever rate drops(most unlikely) I can cancel the deal any time with two months notice. Right now going rate is 11 cents.
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On Tue, 18 Sep 2007 19:47:04 -0400, Jud McCranie

A real estate agent is in no way, shape, form or fashion qualified to say if a heat pump is oversized. call a licensed hvac contractor and have the m do a manual J load calculation. That is the ONLY way you will know for sure.
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<snip> I'm not an a/c person, but as a home owner, just had recent experience. Our 11 year old A/C - heat pump went out and we had it replaced; the outside unit, the air handler in the attic, and larger return air vent pipe. (We had 16 inch and the A/C people recommended 18 inch). All in all the whole thing was $7,300. Our next month electric bill was less by $80.00. There could be other factors involved in that as well, but no doubt it was cheaper.
It would take a very long time to pay for the new unit with the savings, so if that is why you are considering it, I doubt it would be worthwhile.
One more thing, there are two types of Freon units. (I forget the numbers). The old type is going to be discontinued in a couple years and the price will sky rocket like the old style auto Freon. I'd suggest that if you get a new unit that you get the new Freon type. Bob-tx
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Bob wrote:

Hi, Like old R22 vs R410a something like that? Carrier calls it Puron. R22 equipment won't be made after 3 years from now and R22 production will diminish slowly in next 30 years or so I heard. Our a/c runs on Puron.
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If his total yearly estimated electric bill for his heat pump to heat and cool his house is only around $1000, I think it's very unlikely he's going to save enough in electricity to justify getting a new higher efficiency unit.
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On Tue, 18 Sep 2007 19:47:04 -0400, Jud McCranie

This is for cooling only, but you can approximate the heating.
http://www.hvacopcost.com /

Maybe, need a load study by a qualified HVAC person.

You used nothing in November? where do you live, Key West.

I was faced with the decision about 18 months ago when the compressor in my 16 year old unit went out. New compressor or new unit. HVAC guy talked me into new unit. Said savings would be significant. I'm glad I listened to him. I'm all electric and have a 5 ton packaged unit and my total usage went down by approximately 20%. I've never had an August as hot as '07 (20 days over 100F, most lows high 70's to low 80's) and my bill was $192. The previous five Augusts averaged about $250. Plus the new unit is far more quiet.
I went from an estimated 7 SEER (I guess that long ago they were not labeled), to a 13 SEER
If you are in the U. S. and pay taxes, you should also go on the gov. energy site and look up the potential tax credits. I believe it is $300 for a heat pump that meets the SEER and EER, and the standard for the heat side, requirements.
In my case the difference between a new compressor and a new unit was $3K. I couldn't qualify for the tax credit, because, low and behold, there was no "packaged" unit in existence that met the Govs standards on the heat side. But there were plenty of splits which are more common. You can get a split up to 19 SEER. I figure I'm saving about $4-500 per year. So six years or so simple payback without the tax credit.
Frank
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Frank Boettcher wrote:

That's not how you should calculate payback. Consider the interest on that $3K if you hadn't sunk it into the AC.
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If you read carefully I said "simple" payback, not payback based on discounted cash flow or present value analysis.
So are you suggesting that at the decision point of whether to sink $1000 into a sixteen year old, inefficient heat pump that would require maintenance money put into it each year despite the new compressor, that I should have considered that a reasonable alternative? Maintenance money combined with unit inflation till the time when it would have to be replaced anyway which would be far in excess of the interest earned on the savings? True discounted cash flow considers both the timing and amount of both outlays and income.
If you assign risk appropriately and run all the numbers, the decision is a no brainer
Frank
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Frank Boettcher wrote:

On the facts you presented, you would have had a new compressor. It's not clear to me why you assume maintenance would be so high.
But my point was just that "simple payback" doesn't tell the whole picture -- if you actually did the full analysis, then good for you.
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If you can't understand "16 year old heat pump", a fact that was clearly presented, and can't project what that means, then I can't help you.

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Frank Boettcher wrote:

Without more, it doesn't mean the parts other than the compressor are about to require lots of maintenance.

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You can get more efficient pump, or change energy sources. Can you get natural gas or propane? In NY state, those are much less expensive than electricity.
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