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Old 04-18-2014, 10:23 AM
 
3,627 posts, read 12,423,423 times
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AC + Natural Gas
HP + Natural Gas

Looking at two systems within the same line but one configured for AC and one for HP (with reversing valves)

(1) Cost to run. If I was all electric it would be a no brainer but I have natural gas available. ... and I see electric going up faster than gas
(2) Durability of equipment. Life expectancy of AC should be a little longer as it is not cycling in cooler times.
(3) Initial cost. HP is a little higher because of added hardware
(4) Efficiency in summer. AC slightly more efficient than HP due to bypass design

Am I missing something? It seems to me the AC + Gas is a better option than a heat pump + gas
If I was all electric a heat pump would make a heck of a lot of sense.

It is in Greenville forum because, living here, the heating and cooling loads are different than other places in country.
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:58 PM
Status: "Summer, please don't leave!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Asheville, NC
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I will tell you the heat pump in the winter doesn't do the job well. My pump was running constantly on those cold days trying to keep up. It blows cool air and I don't care for that. I would much rather have gas heat. It blows warm air and it always feels toasty in a home. In the summer, the AC works well.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:40 PM
 
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Definitely. I was looking at a dual fuel system with the heat pump (which is really just a modification of the AC compressor) working on cool but not cold days. They are not really meant to work below 35-40F outside without auxiliary heat.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
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depending on the age and quality of the heat pump, they work as intended much lower than 35-40 ambient these days. I say "work as intended" because their intent is to keep the indoor temperature within the design range. However, personal preference on the other hand drives some people to want natural gas because the supply air is delivered warmer.

If you can afford to put them in, I really like the idea of dual fuel systems.

we have AC + natural gas downstairs and a heat pump upstairs. im satisfied with both.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:53 PM
 
Location: home state of Myrtle Beach!
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HP takes longer to heat. I read somewhere recently HP puts out something like 90 degree heat and a furnace over 100 degree heat. Since you have gas available, you would probably have some savings using it. Our home is 1600 sq. ft. With a heat pump our electric bill (so far) was $800 to heat the house this winter. Even with a furnace it is still going to run constantly all winter long when it is as cold as this winter was.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myrc60 View Post
HP takes longer to heat. I read somewhere recently HP puts out something like 90 degree heat and a furnace over 100 degree heat. Since you have gas available, you would probably have some savings using it. Our home is 1600 sq. ft. With a heat pump our electric bill (so far) was $800 to heat the house this winter. Even with a furnace it is still going to run constantly all winter long when it is as cold as this winter was.

Our natural gas furnace downstairs cycled on and off as needed. If someone's furnace runs all winter your gas bills would be astronomical and they most likely have a very old house with poor insulation. Our upstairs unit ran longer but cycled some during the day and stayed on most of the night during the coldest nights.

$800 seems fairly high depending on which months you are counting but it is hard to compare apples to oranges. Our house is just under 2500 and with natural gas downstairs and a heat pump upstairs we are looking at around $400 each in electric and natural gas from October through now.

Our house was built in 2001 and like most similar houses has code-minimum insulation for the time.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:22 PM
Status: "Summer, please don't leave!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Asheville, NC
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Our electric bills from Dec-March totaled about $676. We have all electric for central heat and AC.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:46 PM
 
Location: home state of Myrtle Beach!
6,237 posts, read 18,166,086 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamiecta View Post
Our natural gas furnace downstairs cycled on and off as needed. If someone's furnace runs all winter your gas bills would be astronomical and they most likely have a very old house with poor insulation. Our upstairs unit ran longer but cycled some during the day and stayed on most of the night during the coldest nights.

$800 seems fairly high depending on which months you are counting but it is hard to compare apples to oranges. Our house is just under 2500 and with natural gas downstairs and a heat pump upstairs we are looking at around $400 each in electric and natural gas from October through now.

Our house was built in 2001 and like most similar houses has code-minimum insulation for the time.
We're on a slab foundation with 9' ceilings and just 2-3 years older than your house. Remember too, that it's the comfort level that matters; hubby gets cold much easier as he ages. That $800 was for 3 months, December, January and February and now finally, March is closer to normal for us but still a bit higher than running AC is in the dead of summer. Still, cheaper here than it was in Chicago for us in the winter; being on a fixed income now, we need that savings.
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Old 04-18-2014, 03:09 PM
Status: "Summer, please don't leave!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Asheville, NC
11,493 posts, read 25,752,811 times
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Another thing I forgot to mention, although the AC cools fine downstairs, upstairs temp stays considerably higher. I'm not sure if you have a 2 story but you may want to consider a dual zone where you have a thermostat upstairs and one downstairs. Just something to think about.
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Old 04-18-2014, 03:23 PM
 
3,627 posts, read 12,423,423 times
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Our upstairs and downstairs (walkout basement) systems are completely independent units with their own furnace/air handler/ducting and compressor. We are just replacing upstairs.

Yes, we are being quoted on a dual fuel system (Heat pump PLUS Furnace). I understand temperature at which the unit switches from AC to Gas is programmable. I am seeing some logic though because you can customize based on fuel costs. The system pump would be 21.5 SEER and 10.0 HSPF, with an 80% efficient furnace. Variable Speed Compressor.
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