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 20º and below mark for long stretches.
In a BAD year, the temps can linger at 10º for long periods of time.
Air-exchange heat pumps stall out at about 35F outside air temperature, so
heating kicks-in. If you have a ground-exchange heat pump, it works against
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
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.
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?
On 28-Jul-2004, email@example.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.
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
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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