research on heatpump with propane booster

Hi
Has anyone here had good or bad experience with heatpumps that support a propane (maybe NG) booster instead of electic? Recently received a "proposal" from an HVAC contractor who was pushing this instead of forced oil heat in southern PA. The manuf was RUUD.
Thanks,
Paul
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Around here, it's called a dual-fuel system. The theory is that when the temp drops below the degree the HP cannot still effectively heat the house, the gas back up will take over. They work.
RUUD is a branch of Rheem Manufacturing. Good equipment, IMO. There is better out there and there is worse out there. BUT, don't pick the equipment, pick the installer. A good installer can poor equipment great and a poor installer can make great equipment garbage.

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Booster? You mean 2nd stage heat. There is no...booster heat in a heat pump.
Heat pumps with gas backup heat, or 2nd stage heating is very common...particularly in the colder climes. You need to insure that you have a fossil fuel switch installed correctly, or else you have wasted your money. Oil is an outdated fuel. It is overpriced, and the efficentcy is lower than gas. Electric heat is 100% efficient. The best you can get in a gas unit, in propane in particular will be about 91% in a Rheem/Ruud unit.
We install many of the setups, as they are indeed gaining in favor, however, in our climate, a straight heat pump, with electric backup is still cheaper to operate. In your area, where the winters tend to be a bit colder, gas backup would be the better option. On the coldest days, you can simply turn the thermostat over to EMER and bypass the outdoor unit alltogether and run the gas unit only. You need to be sure that a correct manual T, and J and D are ran...the T is for the sizing of the heat pump, the J is for the furnace, and the D is for making sure that your ducts will be correct, since undersized ducts on a gas unit will lead to things like cracked heat exchangers over time. Also, if the unit will be installed indoors, like a basement, or other area that will not get blow freezing, you need to insure that you get nothing less than a 90% AFUE rated furnace. Go with as high of a SEER heat pump as you can afford. The units prices will not be lower, nor will the cost of fuel and electric.
Also, get more than one quote. Get several. You may find that you have a contractor that can offer you more, for less, or you may find there are several that are not running the correct calculations, and you will pay for their failure to do such in the short term.
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CBHVAC wrote:

Since I don't know what is correct T,J, and D numbers are I'll have to rely on the contractor. Should I expect them to tell me the numbers if I request them?

due next week. Again if I get manual T,J,D number from all 3 and they differ what should I do? assuming they give them to me.
HeatMan: Was not able to see your response. Its my mailtools fault(mine too). Would you be so kind as to post it again. For some reason it marks certain msgs unreadable if I hit cancel while trying to bring it up and the login appears....sheez! Fat fingered that one.
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CB said a lot more than I did. My response is at the bottom of this one.

Around here, it's called a dual-fuel system. The theory is that when the temp drops below the degree the HP cannot still effectively heat the house, the gas back up will take over. They work.
RUUD is a branch of Rheem Manufacturing. Good equipment, IMO. There is better out there and there is worse out there. BUT, don't pick the equipment, pick the installer. A good installer can poor equipment great and a poor installer can make great equipment garbage
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