Heat Pump in Virginia

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Hi, I live in the Williamsburg/tidewater area of Virginia. I have to replace my furnace and AC system. Currently I have a gas furnace and an old central air unit. Would I be better off with a heat pump with the type of winters Virginia has? I am looking for low cost on maintenance and high efficiency. Thanks for any advice.
Pat
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komobu wrote:

In your area I would guess you would be slightly better off money wise with the heat pump. However if you have never lived with as heat pump, be aware that a lot of people who have had other systems and switch to it find it less comfortable. The temperature of the air that is delivered is not much more than the room temperature and with the air movement the wind chill effect often makes it feel colder than the room temperature.
--
Joseph Meehan

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komobu, 12/8/2005, 5:01:31 AM,

Have you experienced a house that uses a heat pump?
I live in Hampton Roads area of Virginia and would never consider switching over to heat pump. My co-worker in Gloucester has heat pump and regrets it.
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For what reasons? TB
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snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net, 12/8/2005, 8:08:45 AM,

Heat pump output is not warm enough. Any cost savings associated with a heat pump are not worth it to me when I am still not comfortable in my house.
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I live in a new home in Howard Co, MD, as of may 2005. I have a 2 zone system, heat pump in the attic for upstairs, and Heatpump with propane 'backup' in the basement for main floor.
I would not choose this option if I were to do it again. The just slightly warmer than ambient temp air that comes into the master bath is pretty uncomfortable when you are fresh out of the shower. My wife can't seem to feel warm, even though both upstairs & downstairs thermostats are set on 74, and seem to be maintaining that temp pretty well.
David
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On Thu, 8 Dec 2005 08:58:45 -0500, "newsreader"

If the stat is maintaining the temp you set it at and you are still cold this is usally caused by low humidity. The humidity for comfort level should be around 46 to 56%. Yours is probably around 20% or so.
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I'd like to add a humidifier to the system. I've received a bunch of conflicting opinions on the subject. The HVAC guy who came to do a minor fix when I first moved in was pushing to sell me a unit that mounts into /onto the (plenum?). He noticed all the wood floors throughout the house & told me I'd have major flooring shrinkage without a humidifier, and offered to do a 'side job' installation. He works for a very large local HVAC company.
Another guy (plumber/hvac) who came to add on a filter to my well system adviced against adding a humidifier to the air system, claimed it would build up mineral, etc deposits because of the well water.
The builder agrees with the plumber/hvac guy.
I think I'd like to add a couple stand alone humidifier somewhere in the house, but have not had the time to look into my options. Any suggestions greatly welcomed.
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wrote:

So hvac/plumber guy comes and installs a filter for the well and then tells you a humidifier will cause deposits etc because of the well water? Do you not see what is wrong with this picture? Add the humidifier, google is your friend. And stay away from "side job" guy. Why? Because you will not get a valid warranty should anything go wrong. Call a licensed hvac proffesional and they will be able to give you some options, providing they are competent.
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Thanks for all the advice. I have never had a heat pump before and I wanted to know what users thought of them. Based on this thread, I will stick with a Gas furnace and and a central air unit.
Pat
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Then you're probably making a mistake. I have a 14 SEER heat pump and 90% gas variable speed 2 stage furnace. It gives me a bit more choice in my utility useage. Heat pumps work just fine. Bubba
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wrote:

I live in Newport News. My house has a heat pump that is around 20 years old. (not nearly as efficient as ones being made now) I have no complaints whatsoever about it. Right now my thermostat is set on 68 and everyone in the house (2 stories, 2000 sq.ft) is comfortable. My last house had a gas furnace. While I will admit the air is a lot warmer coming out of the gas furnace, I still love my heat pump and suspect that I will even more as gas prices continue to climb.
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A PROPERLY sized and installed heat pump in your area would be fine. You will hear stories about how the air isnt hot enough, how it wont keep the home warm...well, if they aint sized right, thats what you get. A heat pumps temp output will indeed drop as the outer temps drop, but it WILL maintain the homes temp, and since you are NOT wanting to live in 100F temps Im sure it can, and will maintan 70-78F in the dead of winter with no problems if its sized and installed right. When we install them, we also ask the customer, do you want the "hot heat pump option"...its nothing but a jumper on the board that will energize the backup heat for about 45 seconds when the unit starts up. EVERY unit will give an initial blast of cooler air out the ducts when the blower starts, but this makes the unit resemble a gas unit on start. Ad a humidifier and you are set.
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We love our heat pump..Trane XL1200,with backup Trane 85% eff. oil burner. 40degrees and up Heat Pump, 40 Degrees and below oil burner. Iused 1200 gallons with my old oil burner, now with the heat pump, I use 360 gallons a year. The system is 11 years old, and I live in Western Pa. It gets pretty damn cold here! When the heat pump is on we leave the thermostat at 72 degrees, and NEVER touch it. My wife likes the heat because it doesn't dry out her skin. If the temp. drops outside and the oil burner, kicks in, we sweat, because the output is around 150 degrees. Our electric is never above 130.00 a month. In summer the XL1200 can freeze your butt off! We have a all electric house with a 4 kw discount in the winter. Just my 2 cents. Andy

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key point right there
below 40 deg F outdoor temp, heat pump alone is not so good...
and below 32 when the outdoor coil starts to ice up.... forget it...
Mark
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Where in the Fuck did you come up with info like that Mark, you idiot? Bubba
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I dont know about that..got several guys in here like myself that the heat pump alone works fine, with no secondary heat.

That coil will start to ice up in the right humidty conditions, at temps as high as 55F.
If you dont belive it, next time you have a cool early fall day when the humidity is still up there, watch it when it goes into defrost mode...where is all that water comin from?

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CBHVAC wrote:

This is Turtle.
I hope your meaning the secondary heat just not being used or having to come in to keep the temp. right. Now a lot of Manufactor will tell you to just turn the heat pump off at or below 10 degree F and turn on the secondary heat at this point. Now at Zero degrees F and the job requires 36K btu's to keep up and you have a 3 ton heat pump installed. Do you think the home will be heated with the full 36K btu.s at zero degrees outdoors and not need the back up heat. If you have the job correctly set for BTU's needed you will need back up to make up for the 30% short fall on BTU's at zero degrees to heat the home. if it gets zero degrees in your area , you better have back up and will need it to work properly.
Now if your thinking of not installing Back up heat in a home Read Below. If you install back up heat in a home forget words below.
CB are you going to say this Stupidiest thing that i have ever heard of in my life. You say you would install a heat pump and not have any back up heat for the customer to have if the heast pump fails. I sure hope this is not the case at all.
TURTLE
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Without flaming you, without saying anything negative, I have secondary heat strips.
Now..that said...
Reading wasnt high on your list as a child was it? No offense of course...its just that I dont think you fully understood what we were talking about.
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This is Turtle.
There was two answer for you and you could have chosen the one that fits. I see by your disdisapprovial here it might have been that you would install heat pumps without back up on the system. There is ahvac contractor in this area that installs heat pump and does not put back up heat on the system.
If you was truely a professional as you put on. you would not take offence to what was said for there was two choices as to what the story was.
TURTLE
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