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heat pump vs. gas furnace with woodstove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by rmcfall, Feb 15, 2006.

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  1. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    We will be installing at least one new stove (model undecided as of yet), as well as a new furnace. We will of course be burning the stove 24/7 as the primary source of heat. With the gas prices being what they are, does a heat pump make sense as a secondary source or heat? I've always had gas furnaces in the past...

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  2. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Just do an ROI analysis. Seems like install cost is key here.
  3. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    ROI analysis??

    I know heat pumps are a little more up front than gas furnaces. In the long run, however, it may be worth it...??


  4. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    rmcfall, I did not see your location in your profile, and that is important about the heat pump issue. South of the Mason Dixon line is heat pump territory.

    To me, I would choose a heat pump over gas, period. I have a new 13.7 Seer pump and it blows warm air in 30 deg weather. If its 0 outside for a couple of days, who cares, let the electric backup kick on if your not around to feed the stove.

    The natural gas situation is kinda scary in this country, and Europe for that matter.
  5. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Member

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    I live south of the Mason-Dixon line (Charlotte, NC area). I have been using a wood stove as a primary heat source with an electric heat pump as backup. We set the thermostat at 68 and it never comes on. We installed a new heat pump, which is very effecient, and when we do use it, you can actually feel heat coming through the ducts. With the older ones, you could not feel heat.
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    What are those things costing these days? Ours died a few years ago and I guess I need to replace it here before long.
  7. paulgp602

    paulgp602 Member

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    How do heat pumps work exactly? I had central AC installed this past summer and the Trane XL14i compressor said that it can be a heat pump too. The Trane VS air handler is in my attic and is an AC only system. Would I be able to get heat from it somehow?
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The A/C just reverses. Instead of collecting heat inside the house and depositing it outside, it collects the heat outside and deposits it in the house.
  9. Swamp Fox

    Swamp Fox Member

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    Brother Bart,
    We replaced our old unit with a Trane XL 1400 (I think), 2 1/2 ton unit, new heat exchanger, condensing unit and programmable thermostat for $4300.
  10. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    We are south of the Mason Dixon line--in Kentucky. Some have mentioned getting a gas furnace backup to avoid the electric backup. Doesn't sound like you have had any trouble with just the electric backup, however....

  11. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    That is the main complaint I have heard about heat pumps--the feeling of the air being less than warm. From what you say, however, it sounds like this is no longer a problem with the new pumps. Plus, I suppose with a heat pump serving to only supplement wood heat, it is even less of a problem...


  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    That has always been the complaint with heat pumps. Since your skin is 98.6 degrees anything blowing on it that is less than that feels cool. So eighty or nintey degree air out of the heat pump does not feel warm.
  13. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

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    I can attest to the fact that (atleast the older heatpumps) they don't heat well in the Northeast. With temps at or below freezing most of the winter, my heatpump is pretty much just an expensive heavyduty paperweight.

    I would just put stoves in to heat. Forget about all this electirc/gas hooohaaw :p
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