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Old 08-19-2014, 03:26 PM
 
2,721 posts, read 1,548,139 times
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Hi,

Starting the building process in one of the golf communities, and the builder offers AC as standard, with no heating system. I know that Naples is pretty warm year-round, but is it common to not offer any sort of furnace or heat pump at all?

When there's the occasional cold snap do people just use space heaters?

Thanks.
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:16 PM
 
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If it were up to me, I wouldn't ever use the heat pump, but there are several days/nights a year that my wife fires it up.

I'd still have one installed, if for nothing more than resale value.
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
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markjames68,
Are you certain that the A/C HVAC unit does not also contain a 'heating element strip'?
Almost all do that I am aware of, esp in newer/new construction.

Maybe that is a 'heat pump' in the vernacular...

In the systems I am familiar with, the air handler also has an electrically heated element(s), and the air is blown across that 'strip', which flows some warmish air through the duct system. IIRC, the heat strips come in 5kw and 10kw rating, and can be 'ganged' based on house size, ceiling height, etc.. Many of the big name builders skimp on tons of A/C, heat strip rating, and SEER, in my experience.

It isn't forced hot air like in the NE, and the electric meter spins like a Frisbee when it's on, but it takes the chill off on the couple of cold mornings.
GL, mD
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Old 08-19-2014, 05:16 PM
 
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Hi motordavid,

I think you are correct about the heating element strip, I checked again and they did mention "electric heat" but didn't see any electric baseboards, floor heating, etc. I figured it must be something as part of the air handler.

The AC is a Trane SEER 14, which is decent enough.

I hear you about the NE, I currently have oil/hot water and it's not like forced air either Be glad to have the $4000+ annual oil bill gone!
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:49 PM
 
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I was referring to the heater strip in the AC unit too. It's not really a heat pump, per se, it's more like a toaster oven element with a fan behind it. Motordavid is correct, they are not too efficient, and the meter spins like a top when it's running! Fortunately, the wife only uses it a few nights/mornings per year to take the chill out of the air.

A friend and i installed a new AC unit in my house a few years ago. 6 months later, on the one cold day of the year, my wife calls me at work and tells me that she doesn't think the heat was working. Sure enough, we forgot to hook up the element when we installed the air handler. Doh.....
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
3,835 posts, read 6,850,044 times
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mj68...
Yes, I was certain the new A/C system had the heat strip.
After ~30+ yrs in NY, just outside the City, I am convinced nothing beats baseboard hot water, for heat, esp in that colder clime. Our woodstove here in our western NC mtn joint isn't bad either, but dries up the house like we live in Death Valley.

Back to SW FL, the 'cold' days/mornings are few. Our winter house faced north, which was not the perfect setting for Nov-April. But, it wasn't like we had parkas on, or ran the HVAC heat 24/7. You will do fine.

Typical builder A/C imo: for a couple hundred bucks more, esp spread over several houses, they could/should put in a 16 SEER, imo. We went from a 8yr old 14 to a new 16 and the diff was remarkable, both in cooling power, heat when seldom needed, and energy usage reduced by a third. Our new house in Nokomis this past January, also came with a name brand, but budget level 14 SEER. Like putting cheap brakes on the newly built performance car, imo.

NEway, enjoy your new joint and Good Luck, mD
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:09 PM
 
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Saw your post come up. Although I'm in Venice, last winter my electric bill increased from $65 to $85 for the month of Jan when we used the heat pump a few days. I think 5-7 days at the most.
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