We rent the second floor (all electric) of a house with an attic overhead.
It's an A-shape attic, with some head space in the middle, but almost no
insulation. You can see the shingle nails on the ceiling. The heat pump
and hot water heater are in the attic, with the pump's condenser (? - I
guess that's what it is) on the ground outside. Here's the thing - in the
winter, the "hot" air feels cool coming out of the registers, which are in
the apartment's ceiling, and the pump runs nearly all the time, with the
thermo set at 66 - 68 (it does keep it there). This is in Atlanta, so
winter means 25 - 45 degrees for a few months. The devices are very new, a
result of a remodeling job, and the ducts from the pump to the registers are
wrapped in insulation (silver foil - I'm not sure what it really is). Is
this a sensible design? It seems strange to have the heating/cooling unit
in the coldest/hottest part of the house, depending on the time of year. Is
there anything more we can do for insulation up there? The apartment itself
isn't well insulated, but I'm primarily concerned right now about the attic
setup. Any feedback?
It's a reasonable, but not terrific layout. Provided that the duct work
is insulated and you don't have condensation problems up there (unit
properly drained, adequate ventilation etc), you lose very little efficiency.
The fact that the "hot air" isn't very hot doesn't mean anything - perfectly
normal for heat pumps.
Heat pump output temperature is rarely noticably "hot", generally just a
bit warm (or even feel coolish with your hand in the air stream).
A HP's instantaneous heat delivery isn't nearly as high as traditional gas,
oil or electric units. So they make up for it with longer running times.
As long as it maintains your heat setting, and you don't expect _rapid_
warmups, everything's fine. Avoid things like leaving the door open, causing
the temperature to drop several degrees below the setpoint, then the backup
heat kicks in and the operating cost jumps _substantially_.
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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