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Old 01-28-2010, 05:49 AM
 
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They are useless under 30 degrees,and given the chance of ice and power outages,they are vunerableto the outage.I have one upstairs and wish I didn't.This region is far to cold,and the winters to severe for electric heat.In fact I would take it one step further and say forced hot air in general is inefficient for this area.We should be running radiant heat,from #2 oil like the northeast,although I guess the fuel bills would make me think differently If I had that.
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:16 AM
 
Location: Oxxford Hunt, Cary NC
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Originally Posted by samdan View Post
We should be running radiant heat,from #2 oil like the northeast,although I guess the fuel bills would make me think differently If I had that.
No oil heat for me! My sister said it will cost her something like $3000 to heat her house this winter (that hardly seems possible!). Granted, she lives in NY - but her house has new windows and is well insulated. Natural gas works just fine for me and I think the cost is quite reasonable, especially considering how toasty the air is that comes out of the registers!

Last edited by adlnc07; 01-28-2010 at 06:31 AM..
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Midcoast Maine
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As with any heating source, it all depends on the size of the house, insulation, etc. We moved to Maine last year, and we have oil heat now. Our house is about 1200 sq. ft. with new windows and we're using about $100 worth of oil per month during heating season. It's actually less than what we spent using natural gas when we lived in WI. That being said, when we lived in NC, we had no issues with using a heat pump. Most people have them, and it seems to work well for most...
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:31 AM
 
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Heat pumps are good air conditioners, which is not so much of a concern further north. There is a big need for ac, and the winter temperatures don't stay below 30 for very long.

Some people have natural gas or propane backup systems for when it is very cold.
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by samdan View Post
I would take it one step further and say forced hot air in general is inefficient for this area.
Forced air systems are required for the air conditioning we require here, which is used for a longer portion of the year than heat. Are you suggesting it would be more efficient for every home to have two separate systems installed - one for heat and one for air conditioning?
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sll3454 View Post
Heat pumps are good air conditioners, which is not so much of a concern further north. There is a big need for ac, and the winter temperatures don't stay below 30 for very long.

Some people have natural gas or propane backup systems for when it is very cold.
Great point .I think if you relied on a heat pump you need a backup.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:49 AM
 
494 posts, read 1,194,265 times
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Originally Posted by CHTransplant View Post
Forced air systems are required for the air conditioning we require here, which is used for a longer portion of the year than heat. Are you suggesting it would be more efficient for every home to have two separate systems installed - one for heat and one for air conditioning?
I can't suggest anything since I don't know enough about hvac.I know however there comes a point where a heat pump should not be used for a geographical area..I think our area is pushing it,and we might be more suited with heating systems that are more like the colder states.The cold snap we had just a week ago that lasted for two weeks,many were complaining their heat pump wasn't working.I know I had radiant baseboard for heat and duct work for my ac.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
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The winter here are mild compared to up north and much much shorter in length. You may have 1-2 months that get below 30 for any length of time. A heat pump is far more efficent that gas heat, though it is not hot heat. If you are used to feeling hot air blow out of the vents, you will never like a heat pump. The heat pump will blow air that is in the mid 80's out. This is cooler than your body temp and thus feels cool. When you feel hot air blowing out it is generally because of one of a few things. 1st, someone keeps turning it up so they can feel hot air blowing out. This means you have tripped the emergency strips heat on. 2nd, something is wrong with the heat pump. 3rd, as you mentioned, it is too cold for the heat pump to work efficently. I suggest setting T-stat and leaving it alone. Buy a small space heater for the room you want to feel hot air blowing in.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Oxxford Hunt, Cary NC
4,188 posts, read 9,819,130 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHTransplant View Post
Forced air systems are required for the air conditioning we require here, which is used for a longer portion of the year than heat. Are you suggesting it would be more efficient for every home to have two separate systems installed - one for heat and one for air conditioning?
I'm going to replace my HVAC this year, and will look into a dual-fuel system.

energy right: Dual-Fuel Heat Pumps (http://www.energyright.com/heatpump/dualfuel.htm - broken link)
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Ellicott City MD
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I don't have any expertise in HVAC, except for having it explained to me a lot, but I think that the thing most people want (and most people have) in NC is a gas pack. This provides the electric cooling, but uses gas for the heat. There was a good post in this thread explaining the issues with heat pumps BGE bill........Oh NOOOOOOO!!!!!

The last time I had an all-electric heat pump in NC I lived in an apartment. I could be wrong, but I think gas packs are more common as they are best for the combination of heating/air conditioning issues. Perhaps heat pumps were what the builder in your area used, though.
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