thats all good advice... however the OP said that the natural gas is
priced on par with the electric in his arrea...whatever that means....
therm per dollar maybe.
if thats the case, with a heat pump you get 2x or more therms per
killowatt compared to electric resistance heat.. its
a leveraged deal.. the heat pump is almost always more efficent than
propane, not always cheaper than natural gas in the pipeline
though...but usually it is by a little at least.
My personal prime consideration since ive been in that side of the
business so long is how long do these systems last and what do repairs
cost.... its not at all uncommon to be billed several thousand dollars
for a repair.. my estimate, a heat pump owner can expect one of those
at 7 to 10 years and a few 300 dollar repairs in the meantime.... then
total replacement at 10 years... 20 would be a miracle system...and
that occurs but not often. 10 its usually toast.
I advise people to buy multile small seer 14 systems, air to air heat
pumps or electric cool/ gas heat ... zone the house so you only run
one at time...and use programmable stats... insulate well, use matress
warmers. that will be cheap to intall and cheap enough to operate.
For much larger systems the various flavors of geo thermal or cooling
tower/ heat sink applications are a very good deal especially when one
side of the building is in heat mode and the sunny south side is in
cool mode... networked water source heat pumps are a small miracle in
If you oversize them to reduce compressor and fan run times they will
even last a while.
Taking into account the efficiency of the propane furnace I estimated that
propane and straight electric heat break in heat produced (therms I guess)
at around $2.50/G for propane. It was a couple of years ago that I
calculated this, may have changed slightly. My only point of calculating
was to see if using space heaters would save money.
I get the tank topped off in the summer when its cheap but the winter
refills kick my butt as the price often doubles in the winter.
electric space heaters have serveral serious advantages... spot heat
in an otherwise cold room... and zonable to just the rooms you are
If I were on propane Id consider that option.
You can check the efficiency of various types of electric portables.
I think the ones that look like a steam radiator but filled with oil
might be a lot more efficient that the cheapo' red hot coil of wire
types...but you'd have to check.
I lived in Durham for 8 years and had a heat pump. It
was great until the once a year one to two weeks of snow
and ice. The further south and the further east you
live, the better the performance. For that reason, heat
pumps are not the way to go in the land of the damnyankee
On Sep 1, 7:51 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org (Dick Adams) wrote:
thats true in spaes for air source heat pumps... if yoou dig deep for
ground water though, water source works in cold weather..but it has
issues, closed loop allows the addition of anti freeze... there are
contamination issues with that though...I use propelene glycol, non
toxic... ethelene glycol is poisonoous however, if someone s that
later and it leaks to the ground water you could ruin a good sized
aquafer... damages could be into the millions.
When I lived in Wilson we had a heat pump and never had a problem with it.
It kept the house temperature comfortable. Although you didn't get the
sudden warm up when you turned the thermostat up - temperature change was
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