Heat pumps + cold climates

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I was looking at some of the houses for sale in eastern Pennsylvania.
Since there is massive building going on in SEMI-RURAL areas for all the NJ and NY people currently moving there, I notice that some of the houses both new and old have HEAT PUMPS for their source of heat.
I have always heard that heat pumps are NOT that effective in COLD climates. The weather in this area can get to the 20 and below mark for long stretches. In a BAD year, the temps can linger at 10 for long periods of time.
Comments ? TIA
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Air-exchange heat pumps stall out at about 35F outside air temperature, so electric resistance heating kicks-in. If you have a ground-exchange heat pump, it works against the ground temperature (59F average across the US) and does not have this problem. It thus uses a lot less electricity (heating or cooling) but that has to be balanced against the much greater installation cost (buried heat exchange tubing). Last time I investigated, the incremental cost of installing the ground-exchange in a residential situation achieved payback in about 20 years. This is usually considered a poor investment. With rising energy prices, the payback period may have changed since then.
-- Tom

NJ and

new and

climates.
stretches.
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Stalls out?
I think you should either explain that statement or not make it at all if you do not know what you are talking about.
If you have a ground-exchange heat pump, it works against

period
Sounds like you DO know what you are talking about when it comes to GSHPs....
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At 35F, my 11-year old unit can maintain house temperature at 68F, but has difficulty raising the temp. The run time asymtotically approaches "forever". The thermostat automatically kicks-in resistance heating when it detects that the heat pump is unable to make headway after 2 hours. Thus, the heat pump is stalled in it's ability to increase the temperature delta. The outside and inside temp delta varies between various heat pumps, is dependent on how well the house is insulated, and on the heat pump capacity (in BTUs) compared to the floorspace of the house.
-- Tom
wrote

so
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wrote

temperature,
if
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That statement might have been correct 15-20 years ago. Today, it just isn't the case.

period
Geothermal's are very efficient but as mentioned, installation expense is much higher than air-air.
- Robert
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Which no tract builder ever installs. Ever.
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Absolutely true. My response was to Tom who mentioned the efficiency of ground source.
- Robert
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Does anyone seriously think that energy costs are going to go down any time soon? I wonder what it will take for folks to realize that paying these costs up front will pay back in the long run.
Mike
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Really? I saw a "This Old House" epsode where a ground-source geothermal HP was installed. One huge payloader, tons of soil removed and replaced, weeks of work, somewhere around 40,000.- spent over and above your traditional HP unit. This payback comes when?
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On 28-Jul-2004, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (HA HA Budys Here) wrote:

There's a difference between buying a good product from a reputable company and "there's a sucker born every minute". Forty grand? - I've never heard of anything costing anywhere near that amount.
Mike
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They removed tons of dirt to bury thousands of feet of pipe, 10-12' below finished grade, then replaced the dirt.
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Mine is a 16 seer and keeps the house 69 degs, with the t/stat set to 72 degs.
17 deg outside temp,Nebraska weather.
Tom

NJ and

new and

climates.
stretches.
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Conase wrote:

Do any of these homes also have conventional furnaces (i.e. heat pump + gas)? In your climate I would think that would be a good alternative to a straight heat pump.
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Builders install whatever system is cheapest for them to provide. They do not care one ioda what the running costs are, since they won't be paying them.
I know 2 families who bought into new homes in the Deleware Water Gap area, and both incurred astronomical electric bills.
In the Northeast, your most cost efficient form of home heating is still an oil burner.
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an oil

What about coal ???
--
SVL



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(Conase)

NJ
new
climates.
not
area, and

an oil

You go ahead and be at the mercy of OPEC. I'll stick to my ground source heat pump anyday. And no it didn't cost even 1/5th of the 40g you mentioned above.
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And your local power plant is powered how?
Central A/C was not a consideration in my decision. Don't have it, don't need it, don't want it.
When I had a circa 1975 oil burner to provide both heat and domestic hot water, I would fill a 280 gallon oil tank 3-4x a year. W/O a service contract or automatic delivery, I paid no more than 1.25 a gallon in winter, and averaged about .90 a gallon overall.
That's about 1000.00 in heating costs per year.
I've since converted to natural gas. My monthly bill is 52.00 on the budget plan, and I didn't buy the most efficient WH or boiler available either. That's 624.00 a year. Saving 376.00 a year (even with the spike in the past year's natural gas prices) Payback comes in a little over 6 years.
Even if I had the ductwork to accomodate a heat pump, and never used the cooling option, electricity here is just under .16 per Kwh. And it's all generated by either natural gas or OPEC's oil.
Depending on where the OP buys, homes in Northern NJ pay almost the same rates I do. In Pennsylvannia one could easily pay 1/2 that rate, as well as in areas in upstate NY that "have access to cheap hydropower"
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need
contract
budget
That's
year's
rates
areas
Let's see, we have 2 nuclear and 2-3 hydro plants within an hours drive. Not to mention a coal burner or 2.
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hot
Not
From what I hear, hydro doesn't produce as much as people think. (at least around here)
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