1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Heat pumps

Post in 'The Green Room' started by begreen, Jul 16, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,541
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I'm starting to rebuild our forced hot air system after getting the house on a new foundation. All ductwork is now well insulated. However, before having a new plenum made up, I am pondering either replacing the propane furnace or just keeping it for backup and switching to a heat pump for primary. We have no need for air conditioning, so I am less interested in the SEER efficiency than HSPF.

    The newest air heat pumps are getting to the point where they make geothermal less attractive. Can I get some feedback on what systems people are using? What company and model? What climate are you in and how well do you like it for heating? At what temp does the backup heat kick in? What is its age and what was the cost of installation?

    BTW, it looks like Nyle products is about to come out with a heat-pump boiler designed to work in cold climates. I've requested more info on this system.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Begreen: My climate is not really condusive for heat pumps too cold. However some real effecient strides have been made recently.
    I wish I had more experience to draw upon but I don't. you climate might be ideal
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,541
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
  4. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,859
    Loc:
    Eastern Nebraska
    heatpump for cold climates .........Hummmmm. Interisting.
  5. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    540
    Wait a minute - how do they get 270% heating efficiency? (compared to 80% for conventional fossil fuels?)

    That's, uh, pretty remarkable.

    Steve
  6. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Messages:
    609
    Loc:
    Bristol, Connecticut
    BG, please share any info you can get about their CCHP. I've been looking at replacing my old system from '89 that is extremely inefficient and is coming to its end of life.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,541
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I'm not sure about Nyle's claims yet. At this point I am researching all options and their name kept popping up. I have no idea about how they are priced at this point.

    Mostly what I am looking at are units that have an HSPF over 9.0. There are several on the market by more conventional makers as well. The current hot technology is DC inverter heatpumps. They can throttle themselves back when the load is not at maximum. Here is a link that explains the technology and why they can make claims at greater than 100% efficiency. (This is relative to electric heat.) A heat pump doesn't create heat, it reclaims heat. "A typical small high tech, 1500watt (Electrical power consumption) Inverter Heat Pump can deliver over 3500watts of heat!" http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~eeh/heat_pump.htm

    Don, for most current model comparisons, this doc is helpful:
    http://www.aceee.org/consumerguide/hp.pdf
  8. MaineWoods

    MaineWoods New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Messages:
    11
    Hello Hearthnet,

    I've been skulking around Hearthnet for some time now picking up information but never joined because of limited experience/knowlege of wood burning and overall lack of things to contribute. However, I may be able to help on this subject.

    I live Hermon, Me which is about 15 min from Brewer, Me where Nyle Corp is located. I've also been curious about these heat pumps and would like a different source of automatic heat besides oil. I'm not a numbers guy so I'm not sure if with the high cost of electricity in Maine a HP would benefit me. BUT for anyone in a state with cheap electricity they sound like a real alternative to burning oil/gas.

    One thing you may not be aware of is that Nyle didnt come up with the heat pump themselves. A guy named david shaw came up with the design and patents. He contracted with Nyle to build the HP but I believe because of finacing reasons Nyle was dragging its feet. Shaw left and is now in dealing with Hallowell International located in Bangor, Me. Nyle still has rights to the Cold Climate Heat Pump name while Hallowell calls theirs Low Temperature Heat Pump.

    I stopped in to Hallowell location to try to find out what I could from them. I expected to get some leaflets from a receptionist but was introduced to Hallowell himself and Scott Pinyard VP of Sales and Marketing. They told me some general info about the HP and gave me a short tour of their testing lab.

    Although they said they are building HPs right now the facility is far from ready for full production and from what I saw is working with a handful of people. I will try to stop in to Nyle Corp to find out what I can from them.

    http://archrecord.construction.com/resources/conteduc/archives/0603edit-1.asp

    http://www.gotohallowell.com

    http://www.chelanpud.org/newsreleases/2005/ColdClimateHeatPump_040105.htm

    Scott Pinyard
    Vice President of Sales & Marketing
    Hallowell International
    110 Hildreth St
    Bangor, Me 04401
    (207) 990-5600 x116



    Cliff Arnold-New HearthNet member
    Hermon, ME

    Pellet Burner and Soon to be Wood Burner
  9. RoosterBoy

    RoosterBoy New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Messages:
    170
    Loc:
    CT
    sounds like a real nice setup what are your electrical rates in Maine per KWH?
    thanks
    Jason
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,541
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Thanks for all the info Cliff and welcome aboard!
  11. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Begreen just like my first generation G5 1.8 iMac These are relitively new products. Being manufactured by small companies not as large as Apple.
    You know where Iam going with this . Proceed with caution I doubt there are any certified techs in your have been trained to work on this new product. And what about parts distrobution? Untill proven and time tested, unless they are giving them away, I would go with a brand name. Remember warranties are useless from a company non existant
  12. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    540
    I'd be curious to know what they cost. Have an older A/C unit with a 140K BTU gas furnace, but we rarely use either. Have been considering replacing the A/C, particularly now that we're using it regularly. I can almost hear the electric meter spinning when I'm going to sleep.

    If the cost of adding the CCHP were similar to a good AC unit, I'd do that and just keep the gas furnace for the absolute coldest days. Most days we don't run the furnace at all, just the woodstove.

    Steve
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,541
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I hear ya Elk. The technology is not that new, just new to the US. But I can't find a dealer for central heat pumps from Daikin, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Sanyo, etc. These are really popular in Hawaii and westward throughout Asia. Very reliable, exceptionally quiet and time proven. We've be so awash in cheap energy that we've been complacent in this field. So I'll probably end up with the most efficient American brand I can buy like York, Bryant or perhaps Lennox. I like Trane, but so far the quotes have been so high as to be plain silly.

    Steve, price varies pretty wildly by region and your home requirements. But the newest units do save quite a bit over the older ones. I have a quote for adding a coil to my propane system (still want this for generator run backup heat in case of an extended power outage when it's really cold) and a top of the line Lennox, 3 ton for $6400. I'm expecting a York or Bryant system to come in around 5K. The Trane dealer wanted almost 9K just to install and wire the compressor. That's over 3 times wholesale. A whole system from these guys could cost more than a car.
  14. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Messages:
    609
    Loc:
    Bristol, Connecticut
    I was reading a HVAC forum yesterday and found it quite enlightening. They (the professionals on the board) were chastising a home owner who was trying to get a layout of the pricing. For example:

    Equipment: $XX.XX
    Labor: $XX.XX
    Supplies: $XX.XX
    Tax $XX.XX
    Total $XX.XX

    They kept saying "You get what you pay for" or "We would walk away from a customer like you". All is all, I found them very secritive about their pricing, which makes on wary about getting ripped off. I talked my situation over with the fiance and we're going to be looking to replace my existing HP system with a newer more efficient model. But after reading all the stuff about the hassel, I'm kinda timid. How is the average home owner supposed to know what these should cost???? When I first moved into my place, I looked at upgrading the unit, the cheapest estimate I got was for $7000, and that was with ZERO duct work. Just a straight swap.

    I don't know how a new system prices out compared to a swap out. But I hope you get a good deal. And keep us up to date :)
  15. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    29,034
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    Those HVAC forums and newsgroups are a snake pit. The same guys have been camped in them for years and rip the head off of any homeowner that ventures through. They treat any HVAC issue as black magic beyond the comprehension of anybody but them. And when a homeowner does not show up soon enough for them they start ripping each other apart.
  16. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    540
    In case anyone was doubting the value of the Ash Can - at least we can keep it to members only...
  17. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,725
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    I've found heatinghelp.com to be user friendly. Occasionally somebody will flame you, but all in all they're very helpful and there are some good brains to pick. I've had good luck there at any rate.

    http://forums.invision.net/index.cfm?CFApp=2l.

    I've done business with Nyle on the dehumidification dry kiln line. Based on that limited experience, I'd say they're a good company with solid technology.
  18. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    605
    Loc:
    Rutland, VT//Southern Quebec
    Be Green,

    At our place in Quebec, the Mrs. Vintage home has electric forced air system with an additional outside heat pump...Like Elk, mentioned we are limited as to when we can run it due to climate. She learned about this after the 2nd season..I know very little about this...Electric in Quebec is significantly less due to the Hydro..Might it be worthwhile to look for info up there??? I can pull a name of the unit or ask a couple questions if you think it will help...Maybe even look at Hydro Quebec's website..Am sure it is also in English unless vous parlez francais? good luck.
  19. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Yeah I can outline 50 ways these "experts" cut corners Had one today Doing a final inspection.
    How come there is no cold air blowing? I mean air is comming out but not cold Compressor fan is working
    no cold air Well it helps to connect the cooling line dosen't it as I discovered it had not been. So he goes out to the truck to get his tourch to solder it. Wait a minute sloder does not cut it code requires brazing. WTF I never had to braze before/ I then and made the comment aren't you missing a few steps? l
    Like the line requires pressure testing up to 160 PSI then it has to be evacuated and finaly It needs a coolant charge right? I mean its 96 out its the final mechanical inspection the home sold for 1 mill. Wouldn"t it be nice if the AC worked? The point here is remember about the amount of miss information given to us about wood stove installations from Quote " my dealer or my installer" Well expect the same treatment from HVAC people, Probably worse. I am going to supply a lead of wholesalerthat will sell to the public. You can index pricing with. You can ask him quality vollume questions and sizing. I did have a post for tonage sizing for cooling Give me your layout room sizes and I can work out the sizing without all the bs of selling a product to fit my inventory
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,541
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Been on both sides of the fence. My dad was a mechanical contractor, brother picked up the business. So I do have an idea of what's involved and respect the value of a well done job. But the Trane prices I got were just ridiculous. I did look for a few minutes at online purchasing, but Elk is right. This needs to be done correctly with brazing equipment, guage sets, vacuum pump, and I doubt I could legally by the refrigerant. However, it's not rocket science and the public should push back on the arcana. I have found a few dealers so far that I respect, no BS and their prices are right about where I would expect them to be. If a dealer is arrogant, I'd walk away. Imagine how they'll treat you when you need service. - Oh, you didn't get our $600/yr service contract. Gee, that's too bad. This is gonna hurt you more than it hurts me.
  21. MaineWoods

    MaineWoods New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Messages:
    11
    Hello Again,

    I stopped in to Nyle and was told they wont be producing any HPs until October at the earliest(but they've pushed back production before). The first ones will be 1 1/2 ton units with larger units up to 4 tons to follow. They dont have space at their current facility to make them. They will have temporary facilities in Bangor until a larger permanent facility can be built in Brewer.

    Neither wanted to talk about pricing as installation will mostly be handled by hvac subcontractors. Nyle did say they may do local installations themselves while Hallowell will be strictly subcontractor.

    If I were a betting man I would say Nyle will be the most likely to get one to market. They are an established buisness with management, billing and some manufacturing already in place making a different but similar product (wiring, ducts, plumbing, motors, valves, etc). They are a small company but lumber kilns isnt exactly a high volume buisness. Hallowell while professional and very optimistic is a start up company still in its infancy. My .02 cents if you need somthing soon look elswhere. Who knows when these will if ever get to market.

    I hope they both get of the ground. The eastern Maine region could use some good news. The shoe industry is history, the paper mills that havnt closed are on shaky finacial ground and the blueberry and pulp/lumber industries are being beat up by subsidized Canadian imports (thank-you NAFTA).

    Electricity from Central Maine Power is .16 (thanks to the State of Maine for deregulating)

    Wood pellet average price is $257/ton (Sams, Auboshon). Cheapest I've found is Lignetics? brand at Blue Seal Feeds for $219/ton.

    Mixed hardwood is $165 cut, split and delivered(green)

    Heating Oil: 2.40/gallon for 150-400 gallons. 2.30 for 400 gallons or more. Pre-buy was 2.69/gallon.

    Propane? Varies wildly.

    New info from Hallowell: believable?
    http://www.gotohallowell.com/admin/assets/HHP_-_2_and_3_Ton_BTU_and_COP_Numbers.pdf

    Cliff
  22. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    517
    Loc:
    Millbrook, NY
    Wow, I'm glad I'm not the only one who had that opinion... can't remember what forum but it was insane.

    I once fixed my aquastat controller by resoldering a relay joint that went bad. Heat was failing intermittently and I heard a bunch of strange clicking from the relay. All hell broke loose from the Honeywell employee getting offended and defense (I did comment on what a piece of crap this is to have a 1.5 yr old unit failing like that) to "I'd NEVER do something like that and you should only replace the unit..." (sure, for $300+ to a HVAC guy...) to "you're an accident waiting to happen trying to fix things like this yourself" - it was hysterical. Simply identified the problem w/a resistance meter and fixed the bad joint - you'd think I welded up my own boiler or something.

    -Colin
  23. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    29,034
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    I got a lesson on those guys when I was a teenager. My uncle was an HVAC guy and for grins I would make Saturday calls with him. I don't know how many times I saw him hook up the Freon bottle and never open the valve. Or smack a relay with a screw driver, kick back for twenty minutes having a smoke and BSing and then hand out a hefty bill.
  24. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Begreen Im thinking what is the age and model of your current burner and its effeciency? Is it a one burner one zone setup. how is the second floor heated or zoned. What is the current return route and sizing and locations. Finally app sq feet first and second floors. What I am thinking is to fine tune your feed and delivery systems first. Even a new burner / heatpump needs an effecient delivery system to function correctly and effeciently
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,541
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Good questions. 1st fl. approx 1200 sq ft and 2nd about 800 sq ft. Current propane furnace is 92% AFUE.

    The return was a mess due to having to route around the old fireplace base (no longer an issue) and earlier remodels. I cleaned up the run, shortened it and added an 8 x 20 return in the living room. Now the system is well aspirated. Also relocated the supply duct to be a straight shot off the plenum instead before where it took a 90 off the side of the plenum and then ran down one side of the crawlspace with long runs snaking off of it. All supplies are now insulated, straight and some much shorter. Upstairs is smaller and just has 2 supplies, but that has worked very well for us comfortwise. All joints taped and sealed as we went along. No separate zone, but it is nicely balanced.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page