Heat Pump Advise

Hi;
I need a new ac system. I am debating installing a heat pump. I live in the Va -NC area. Our avg daily temp in the winter is 40f. I have heard that the wind chill factor of heat pumps can be unpleasent. With a typical 40 degree day out side temperature, can 75 degrees be maintained indoors with out using the back up heat-strips? I would like to maintain my house at 24c/75f. Should I consider a heat pump or a furnace with a central air conditioner.
Thanks for any help
Bret
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I could be wrong as new tech changes things. But a few years ago the rule was that unles you had a 50 air tenp the heat pump wasn't very economical with an air to air system. In Mid Tennessee the in thing is using the buried pipe as the heat exchange and is said is very good.
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You might be pleasantly surprised. According to Nova Scotia Power's web site, an air source heat pump "meets the full heating requirements of your home at an outside temperature of -4C [25 F] or warmer..." .
http://www.nspower.ca/YourHome/HomeEnergy/HeatPumps/ashpqa.html
Obviously, that number is going to be determined by the capacity of the unit; here in Nova Scotia, I assume heat pumps are likely to be sized according to our heating rather than cooling requirements, so your results may differ. In my case, my small (14,000 BTU) ductless system will keep my home at a steady temperature down to about -2C (28F). Below this point, the house will begin to cool gradually and the oil boiler will kick on to make up for the loss.
Shifting gears for the moment... Regardless of the heating system you use, your first priority should be to address any weakness in your home's thermal envelope; proper insulation and good air sealing will go a long way to reduce your heating and cooling costs and make your home more comfortable. If your local utility or government agency offers an energy audit service, this is a good place to start.
In the year prior to my purchase, the previous homeowners used 5,700 litres (1,500 U.S. gallons) of heating oil for heat and hot water -- and that happened to be a mild winter! Last year, without the benefit of the heat pump, I was able to reduce this to 1,973 litres (525 gallons).
So far this year (August 15th through March 10th), my oil consumption stands at 715 litres (190 gallons), much of this for domestic hot water. During this same period, my heat pump has consumed just over 3,200 kWh of electricity and displaced approximately 840 litres of heating oil. My net savings to date (after subtracting the cost of electricity) works out to be $400.00 CDN ($350.00 US). By the end of the heating season, I will have saved just over $500.00 on my total energy bill.
So, from a strictly numbers point of view, even in our relatively "cold" Canadian climate, air source heat pumps work amazingly well. And from what I understand, properly sized and placed ducts, and variable speed blowers help minimize some of the "cold blow" issues that are often associated with this type of heat source.
Cheers, Paul
On 10 Mar 2006 19:05:41 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote:

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You're right on the line I think. Any farther north I'd say no to heat pump, south I'd say yeah, duh. See if you can find a reputable HVAC company and ask them - or your neighbors. A lot depends on your locale's cost for gas and electric.
Heat pumps aren't as bad as they used to be.
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Bret, My heat pump carries my house without strip heat down to between 30 and 35 degrees outside when set to 75 degrees inside. If it is very still, around 30 degrees outside. On windy days, the norm, which drives the infiltration ratye, it will maintain 75 degrees inside down to 35 degrees outside.
Beware of old rules of thumb, they mostly get you a brown thumb.
Stretch
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I live in central Delaware and have a heat pump. My aux. heat rarely comes on. This is reflected in my electric bills below. I have a Honeywell Chronotherm III thermostat set back three degrees at night. My house is TOTALLY ELECTRIC, i.e. water pump, electric range and water heater. Plus, I have a large woodworking shop.
I have a daughter with a gas hot air furnace. Her gas bill alone for January was $260. My other daughter has an oil fired boiler and her oil bill for January was $215.
Date Memo Amount 3/23/2006 Elect -158.75 2/21/2006 Elect -146.90 1/24/2006 Elect -151.53 12/26/2005 Elect -79.71 11/23/2005 Elect -76.75 10/24/2005 Elect -84.26 9/22/2005 Elect -100.97 8/24/2005 Elect -100.67 7/25/2005 Elect -80.01 6/22/2005 Elect -68.33 5/24/2005 Elect -109.05
New Trane XL14i system installed 4/19/2005. It replaced a 1986 Magic Chef heat pump that was probably around 8 seer. Cost to replace was $5900. Below are my electric bills prior to replacement.
4/22/2005 Elect -191.38 3/21/2005 Elect -220.05 2/17/2005 Elect -175.31 1/19/2005 Elect -107.42
I hope this helps you with your decision.
Frank
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