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Old 04-11-2013, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
3,785 posts, read 8,775,084 times
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I do not like heat pumps. They have two parts: an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. The air is pumped into the house and then heated or cooled. These units run year round (except for those rare days when you don't need heat or a/c). That is a lot of wear and tear on it. Mine only last about 12 years, on average. It costs thousands to replace. Also, older ones are being phased out because of the outlaw of one of the coolants. So then you have to replace as opposed to repair. When I replaced my last one, about a year ago, they had changed the vent systems so I had to have my vent system redone, too.

I don't find them efficient. If you have, say oil heat, not air is pumped out. With a heat pump, if you have it set the heat set at 68, that's the temperature of the air as its forced out. Same with a/c. May not sound like a big deal, but you really can tell. My emergency heat has only kicked on a handful times in the 20 years I've been dealing with heat pumps.

Good luck finding a home without them.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:55 AM
 
342 posts, read 1,294,147 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bande1102 View Post
I do not like heat pumps. They have two parts: an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. The air is pumped into the house and then heated or cooled. These units run year round (except for those rare days when you don't need heat or a/c). That is a lot of wear and tear on it. Mine only last about 12 years, on average. It costs thousands to replace. Also, older ones are being phased out because of the outlaw of one of the coolants. So then you have to replace as opposed to repair. When I replaced my last one, about a year ago, they had changed the vent systems so I had to have my vent system redone, too.

I don't find them efficient. If you have, say oil heat, not air is pumped out. With a heat pump, if you have it set the heat set at 68, that's the temperature of the air as its forced out. Same with a/c. May not sound like a big deal, but you really can tell. My emergency heat has only kicked on a handful times in the 20 years I've been dealing with heat pumps.

Good luck finding a home without them.
The setpoint of the thermostat has nothing to do with the temperature of the air "as its forced out".
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, TX
9,397 posts, read 13,245,310 times
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Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
The availablity of natural gas follows strange patterns also. For example, most of Ellicott City has natural gas, but there places where there is no alternative but a heat pump. On the whole, I would prefer natural gas, as the air feels warmer out of the vents.

What the OP should really avoid are those electric baseboard heaters. Some cheap, older homes have them, and they are more expensive to run than heat pumps.
Yeah, I've noticed that with gas as well. It seems like a lot of new developments don't have gas, perhaps because the developer doesn't want to pay to have a gas line brought out. It's a shame really, since gas ranges are also far better than electric ranges.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:21 PM
 
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We have a heat pump. Basically, a heat pump is a pump that pumps out cold air. Especially iin the winter.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:02 AM
 
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Heat pumps are a great solution, but as many people mentioned above, they can become expensive if not used correctly. Don't let "heat pump" deter you from not renting or buying a home. Just be sure that it also comes with a dual fuel or hybrid setup. This allows you to also use natural gas or propane from extreme conditions. Some heat pump owners have had problems in the 32-45 F outdoor temperature range. The heat pump will operate in the electric heat mode, which can become expensive. I would recommend since you are living in Maryland to have a technician allow the gas furnace to switch on at a higher than normal temperature, say 40 F. In this case, you can utilize the heat option of the heat pump, which CAN be more efficient than gas in certain conditions. But you also don't have to worry about using the electric heat too much.
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:29 PM
 
342 posts, read 1,294,147 times
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I can't imagine any rental properties having heat pumps with fossil fuel backup. An outdoor temp of the 32-45 degree range you mention is not a problem with a heat pump. My heat pump will heat my house at 10 degrees without any supplemental heat; it may run continuous for a time at least until the sun comes up but it does heat the house.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:00 PM
 
Location: USA
270 posts, read 359,677 times
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Yeah... my rental townhouse in Poolesville has a heat pump (and no natural gas or other method of heating). I was told I'd like it because it's "very electricity efficient". And in the months of August through November or so last year, it seemed to be. But when it got really cold and we started seeing a bit of snow, my electric bill absolutely skyrocketed.

I noticed on a couple of weekends, the A/C compressor unit was rattling loudly and laboring whenever it kicked on (which was likely a problem of the heat pump trying to run when the outside temperatures were a little too cold for it, and it should have been kicking on the aux / emergency electric heat). At that point, I switched the thermostat to use the e-heat setting instead of leaving it on "auto" so the compressor wouldn't get damaged.

The other problem is, when I first moved up here, it was just me living in the unit alone. But now the rest of my family is here,and unlike me, they're more picky about the temperatures. In the winter, for example, I'm perfectly fine leaving my thermostat set as low as 67 or so -- but the wife finds that "unbearably cold" and insists on it being set somewhere around 74-76.

But yeah, I got hit with 2 electric bills of over $260 each for Feb. and March this year, after initially having bills well under $100. That's pretty much all the fault of the high power usage of the heat pump for heating, combined with the electric water heater (which has to heat a lot more water for the whole family now).

I sure do miss my natural gas for heating things ....
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