heat pump versus gas pack

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    One of my co-workers (from a different shop, an automotive mechanic type) was asking me questions about his unit yesterday. Long story short, I dropped by his house last night to check the scroll compressor on his fifteen-year-old Goettl heat pump...it was a BAD burnout. The refrigerant came out like black smoke at the touch of a schrader core for the "sniff" test.
    I asked him to consider replacing the unit, got prices for a replacement Goettl and for the same size (3.5 ton) American Standard heat pump as that one is available in an over-under like the Goettl. The American Standard, thankfully, was not only the better unit but about $300 cheaper than the Goettl, both in 13 SEER (really 12.5).
    Then he let slip that he has natural gas to the property, in the attic, and that it would be a simple matter to get it up to the roof for a gas pack. I personally prefer gas heat for a lot of reasons: quick heat, no defrost cycle, the compressor runs several months less out of the year, and no loss of efficiency at lower temperatures. Heck, it dropped down into the forties for a few dozen nights this winter here in Phoenix!
    Problem: no over/under is available for the 3.5 ton gas pack. He can put in a side by side for roughly $650 more to do it right.
    For me, it would be worth the money. But that's just me; I like a gas stove but prefer an electric oven and love a gas water heater but would never own a gas clothes dryer. Both units are roughly the same efficiency in cooling.
    This guy was a miracle worker a few years ago when my service truck broke down going uphill on a teeny narrow mountain road up to service some units at some mountaintop communications towers -- I could not even look as he loaded mine into a flatbed tow truck with a steeep drop maybe two feet away. And the whole time acted as though that was what he WANTED to do on a hot Friday afternoon. He's a good guy in general, too; never see him without a smile or a good word for anyone.
    Anybody got any thoughts on this I can bring to him Tuesday morning?
    Thanks.
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First off Vicki..why did you cross post this to alt.hr? :) LOL
Lovely burn tho....gotta love that.

Not bad....

Personally...give him the options, go ahead and run the math to show his operation costs for each based on say....last years temps. Let him chose what he wants and he will be happier I would imagine. If hes not happy with he heat from that old heat pump, one things for sure, he might get more from a new one....but then..he might like the *instant* heat from a gas unit.. Treat him like you treat any of your customers...let him spend his money the way he wants, based on good information from you.

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Can't see the gas pack being as efficient as the heat pump.
As Steve has stated, run the numbers, give him the options and let him decide which he'd prefer.
Have fun!
BTW, only got down to 40 F, MUST BE NICE!! :-)
~kjpro~
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snipped-for-privacy@carolinabreezehvac.com wrote:

It seems to be off-topic lately for alt-havoc as I didn't flame anyone.
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LOL...its why I am over here, and not there now... But from the volume of mail I have today, I must say....its gone to hell real fast this time.
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compressor
attic,
gas
no
year,
down
would
even
maybe
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compressor
attic,
gas
no
year,
down
would
even
maybe
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Vicki,
Usually a heat pump is cheaper to operate in heat than gas till you get below about 40 degrees. If the outdoor temps are not going below that in your area, I would lean toward the heat pump. Here in South Carolina it often gets into the 20s over night in the winter and heat pumps are what every one wands. We have cheap electric here and $gas, I'm not sure any more , I deal with it so little. Depends on your fuel prices in your area. Am. Std / Trane has a dual Fuel gas pack that uses gas heat for aux heat & during defrost, might be an option. I have never used one tho. I have used goettl and Am. Std. both, I prefer the Am. Std. for quality. Give him several options and let him pick. Most people like choices, let him know the advantages of each. Then he can pick and be happier.
Stretch
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EXACTLY.
TY, Vicki.
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On 15 Apr 2005 23:42:35 EDT, Vicki Szaszvari

offer him the best of both worlds. A trane/as dual fuel heat pump. Model DCY (trane)
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I wouldn't have a heat pump, even if you gave it to me free. They are nothing but trouble.

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Yup! Same thing my dad said. His broke down last winter, first time in ~30 years! Time for a new one!! Greg
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Seems to me it is an obvious answer. With the mild climate a heat pump is the only answer. A heat pump costs just a few more bucks than a straight AC. Adding gas heat usually adds allot more to the price.
I removed the cross post to alt.hvac, I don't go there any more! Greg
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I live in Florida - and have a Carrier Heat Pump and love it. It is very efficient - does not dry out the air - keeps the house evenly heated and cooled. In the winter - we seldom get nights in the 20s and 30s. Of course in the summers - it is hot and humid here - our heat pump also has an EER of 13.5. It keeps the summer cooling bills down. Now I wish there were some way I could use that heat sucked out of the house to heat our swimming pool. We have a natural gas heater for the pool. Here in Tallhassee we have not had the heat or AC on for two months - windows open - palm trees blowing in the breeze.
Yep - I would have a heat pump even if you gave it to me free - I already have the best :-)
Harry
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LOL...Only took em what? 20 years? Oh..btw...the e-mail that crashed and burned wasnt my ISP...no one here has that addy...:)

2nd that.

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On Sat, 16 Apr 2005 01:47:19 -0400, " snipped-for-privacy@carolinabreezehvac.com"

nope, sure don't Steve. If you had aol, you wouldnt be getting a huge shitload of spam and viruses in your mailbox. you'd have a rock solid emaill addy that didnt crash & burn. :)
Of course I agree 100% aol as an isp sucks beyond all possible belief, and nobody in their right mind would ever consider it as their sole source of internet connection.
re: heat pumps vs gas heat, it really depends on what part of the country you're in. people in hard winter climates have a much higher degree of comfort with the 110+ of air delivery than the 90-95 of a heat pump, IMO
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snipped-for-privacy@gonefishin.net wrote:

    I don't think he'd want to pay that much. I can't even find them here; they'd be special order. Phoenix just is not the cold capitol of Arizona.
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'hvacpro' wrote:

    Well, it's not, when you combine the cycles. But I didn't really mention efficiency except in the cooling cycle. Efficiency is not a determining factor in Phoenix; you see, I kept my thermostat at a CONSTANT 75 all winter here, for a 2K square foot barely insulated house, and my HIGHEST gas bill (includes hot water and gas stove/oven) was, IIRC, less than $150. I am a wimp; I don't even want to wear a sweater in the house when I'm at home.
    But I prefer gas heat. A gas furnace is less efficient (80%) but for now, gas is still cheaper than electricity for heat. For now.     
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Sam wrote:

         This is an American Standard, the #1 brand as rated by Consumer Reports. Not a Goodman,which is rated at the bottom of their list.
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stretch wrote:

    That's what I'm trying to do. I wanted to give him more than just my opinion, though. I mean, I *love* my Appaloosas and you couldn't GIVE me an Arab, but some people feel exactly the opposite and in choosing a horse, f'rinstance, you should consider more than one person's opinion.
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