Need advice re HVAC equipment for a 2156 sq. ft. retirement home which will
be built on 19 acres 25 minutes South of downtown Dallas, TX.
Natural gas not available. We will be getting a 500 gallon propane tank for
two Rinnai water heaters,propane gas cooktop and furnace.
Question is whether we should be looking into a heat pump or just propane.
Many thanks in advance.
Of course every building and site are unique, but I would at least explore
the options for solar water heat and heat pumps. There may be some
significant utility rebates or tax credits for alternative energy sources
which will make them attractive. With the amount of acreage that you have
you might want to look into solar electric as well or perhaps let someone
else put solar electric there and you get free or low cost electricity.
I know how to get off the grid. I just can't afford it. I should mention
the house will be stick built with blown in foam insulation in exterior
walls and roof. Should be super tight.
I had two water source heat pumps on a big house I built in Irving, TX in
1980 for self, wife and kids, Extremely efficient plus 4K$ energy federal
tax credit back then. Then the divorce.
I've got two shallow wells on the property but can't find a well guy to come
out and tell me how much water I can pump per minute. Installers don't
want to do water source. They all want
to dig vertical wells and use plastic tubing. Asked about the horizontal
slinky configuration and they don't want to do it that way. Screw'em. I'll
already have a very tight house and the cost of
geothermal isn't warranted particularly on a limited budget.
With a high SEER unit and the foam I should be in good shape. BTW, we also
investigated wind power but find it to be noisy. Constant whine and pitch
increases as wind speed increases.
Also, no energy credits available in Ellis county. Not exactly progressive.
You didn't answer my original question re heat pump or just propane. Any
In my case, the difference between the straight A/C and the HP was so
little, that I went for the HP and have not regretted it. Now the oil
fired boiler is only used if it is really frigid. Then there is the
propane fired free standing fireplace/stove in the family room, great
for a bit of extra heat in a room which is mostly glass, as well a
being able to heat that 1/2 of the house when/if an ice storm or
similar takes out the power, as well as a bit of cooking.
And, wouln't you know, a natural gas line has just been installed on
our street. Decisions, decisions!
I would go with the heatpump if it does not get below 25 deg F for more than
a few days at a time. You will be installing an airconditioner anyway so
the cost for the heatpump will not be that much more. I look for the oil
based fuels to go up again. That includes propane and NG. I would have a
backup plan to heat some of the house incase the electricity went out.
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