The equipment is not as important as the installer.
Price difference is what every they want for the equipment installed, and
warranteed. Having a new condenser delivered to your front yard is pretty
I'll explain a little further:
My last house was 1700 square feet, not the best insulation (was built in
1968) and I had oil heat. I moved into a 2400 square foot house (built in
1977) with a heat pump. Heat pump was installed in 1997 (14 SEER Carrier
with variable speed blower).
It is actually cheaper to heat my current house than it was to heat my
I USED to be a lousy proponent for heat pumps. I agreed with most people:
They blow cold air and they were meant for South Caroline and points South.
After living in the house I am in now for 4 winters, I am sold on them. BUT!
Let me say this: I do not have natural gas available in my neighborhood. The
only gas is propane. Right now propane is so expensive that it kills me to
get my BBQ grill tank filled.
Now it all depends on what part of the country you live in. The climate may
be different and the price of natural gas may be lower than the price of
propane around here. Plus it depends on your electric rates. But where I
live and with the price of oil and propane, a heat pump is the way to go
(even though the local electric co-op says that oil is the way to go).
Just my opinion and this does not reflect on the station or it's management
(or whatever that means...)
At the chance of being cast off as a good for nothin...
The reason(s) your current house is cheaper to run is the insulation. [The
heat pump plays a role, and may cost less to operate in your area,] but when
you compare a home built in 1968 to a home built on the cusp of 1977 - I am
sure the 1977 home is built tighter, and has more insulation. Homes TODAY
are extremely tight and energy efficient, more efficient that homes built in
the 80's. As energy becomes more and more expensive, new homes are being
built to new standards that are far more efficient. New products available
even save more, particularly with the advent of HRV (heat recovery
ventilators ) and ERV (energy recovery ventilators.)
"Dr. Hardcrab" < snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.SPAMcom> wrote in message
That is very true. I have no doubt that the newer house (even though only 9
years newer) is better insulated than the old, butt:
A friend of mine in our old neighborhood decided to get rid of his oil
furnace and replace it with a heat pump. This past winter was his 2nd and he
swears up and down that his heating bills are much lower than when he had
oil. Yes, he "upgraded" HIS 1968 house (new siding, windows, insulation),
but that was 3 years ago.
I'm sure it depends on the rates in whatever part of the country you are in,
but I still say (for me) that a heat pump is less costly to run that oil or
a propane furnace.
(and I work for an oil company.....)
Not a big fan of heat pumps either, but I'm stuck.
Building was built in 1982 as "Total Electric"; not a gas line on the
property. Since it is built on a slab, just getting a gas line into
the building is problematic. Then there is the complete remodel
necessary to introduce a gas burner into the living space while
complying with assorted codes.
I would love to have gas, but you can't get there from here.
I thought that I made myself clear: I have two quotes from the same
installer for Rheem equipment, one 12 SEER and one 14 SEER.
Is there a formula to figure the payback time for the price difference?
There are formulas, but you have to look at a lot more than SEER. You
need Heating degree days and Cooling degree days for your area. You
also need your electric rates. The actual SEERs, actual HSPFs and must
be sure that it is sixed properly. I don't have the formulas with me
but I could find them in a couple of days.
As a rough guess, if the units are properly sized, a 14.0 SEER unit
will use 14-15% less electricity to cool than a 12.0 SEER unit. Units
are rarely exactly 14.0 or 12.0 SEER. You want to do a calculation for
HSPF as well.
A properly sized and installed 12.0 SEER unit will be more efficient
than an IMPROPERLY sized and installed 14.0 SEER system. A good
installation can make a world of difference in COMFORT and EFFICIENCY.
Climate also has a lot to do with it as well as building construction.
I also need to mention that heating and cooling use about 60 to 70
percent of your electricity. Lights, water heating, clothes drying
appliances and computer use account for the rest. So if you cut your
cooling bill in half, you would only reduce your electric bill by about
This is Turtle.
well on air conditioning only the 14 seer system will burn 20% less Electricity
than the 12 seer system. On heating mode there will be very little difference.
If you live in the south where you use your cooling system 10 months out of the
year. the 14 seer will pay for it'self. If you live up north and only use your
cooling maybe 1 month out of the year. The 14 seer will not pay back in time
over the 12seer system before you need a new system to replace it with.
Cooling only : For every seer you go up in seer itwill burn 10% less
electricity. these are just ruff estimates and can be explained better but a
whole lot more complex thought has to be put into it.
Actually it's a simple ratio Turtle. 14 is to 12 as 100% is to x%?
14/12 = 100/ x
x = 12*100/14 = 85.7%
The 12 SEER is only 85.7% as efficient as the 14 SEER or IOW,
100 - 85.7 = 14.3% less efficient.
We could also look at this relationship in reverse
12/14 = 100/x
x = 116.7%
The 14 SEER is
116.7 - 100 = 16.7% more efficient than the 12 SEER
No, these two numbers aren't the same, even though the two statements
are saying exactly the same thing.
If you want to make the difference sound bigger then use the second method.
Yearly heat/cool cost at 12 SEER * 16.7% = difference in yearly energy cost.
Assuming a yearly cost of, for instance, of $1000 with the 12 SEER, then
the 14 SEER would save
1000*16.7% = $167 per year.
If the difference in price of the two systems is $500 then payback will
take 3 years. This is a specific example. You will first need to find
the average heat/cool portion of your annual energy bill and substitute
into the argument.
In this example, over the life of the system, the 14 SEER will provide
over $2000 of additional savings that will make a nice down payment on
the next system, be used to buy that extended warranty, or allow you to
set the t-stat to hot in the winter and cold in the summer :)
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