Heat Pump vs. Straight Electric

Hi all ...
Say ... I am in the process of getting bids on getting a central air unit with a variable air handler and a thermidistat (both temp and humidity control).
The last bid gave me the option to go with a Heat Pump or straight electric on the furnace side.
I've been trying to recall my high school physics on this one and I'm guessing that a Heat Pump is basically just an air conditioner in reverse ... chill the outside and pump the waste heat inside (I guess you save on waste LIGHT that way from heating elements or something of the sort).
Anyway ... I have a fairly small condo ... only needs a 1.5 ton unit in the first place.
Question ... when a heat pump is running (say it is 45 - 55 degrees outside), what % savings does one see with a heat pump vs. straight electric.
TWO ... say it is 10 degrees outside (or 0) are the electric back-up elements in a heat pump furnace system significantly less efficient than the electric heating elements in a straight electric furnance?
Thanks!
Ax
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Heat pumps cost about 1/3 as much to operate as opposed to straight electric when outdoor temps are in the range you mention above.

The heat strips in the air handler would be the same regardless of whether a heat pump or straight a /c or nothing else was installed.........
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SVL



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If you have gas avalaible gas is usualy 50% cheaper for most of the US than electric. Go gas if you can.
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http://www.energyright.com/cgi-bin/dtc?tvaparms
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

Depending on your location, do both with a dual fueled system.
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Jim Rusling
Partially Retired
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This is Turtle.
I have been told by hvac factor rep. all my life that the Straight electric heat strips are 1/3 higher in cost to operate to heat a home than a heat pump. Cooling the home makes no difference.
TURTLE
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