I REALLY like my 2-stage heat pump. It's a Trane XL1800 installed in
2003. The only thing done to it since the install is maintenance. So
far it has been flawless, and my electric bill has exceeded $100 only
once - last month.
I have a TTZ9036, TWE040E13, 15KW heat kit, Honeywell TZ-4, four T8611
stats. House is divided into four zones: Master bedroom, kids
bedroom, living/den/kitchen, and my office.
OD unit has two compressors. Using those with the electric backup
heat provides 3 stages of heat and two for cooling.
Something like this should retail for $9500 (or so).
Another item that comes to mind is the "Cold Climate Heat Pump" (CCHP),
by Nyle Specialty, Bangor, Maine. It was developed for use as a heat
source in cold climates, where typically heat pumps have not been used.
Below a certain outside air temperature, the second stage kicks in.
There is defrost control, of course. There was one report of an
installation in the upper midwest that had the unit performing well,
without backup electric resistance heat, at something like 30 below one
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