Free Heating in November, pretty rare

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
727
Texas
Interesting... I have solar/battery and juice to spare. I use a swamp cooler in the summer, but it's noisy (and due for a replacement). Maybe a minisplit would work for me (quiet operation is a huge plus). House is 800 square feet total.
You might also want to consider Midea's U-shaped air conditioner. It's mini-split technology, but the installation and function are more like a window air conditioner. We got a couple this spring, one for a home office that has no existing HVAC, the other for the large common area of our house that is probably about 800 square feet (basically four rooms that are all quite open one to another). They handle mild weather beautifully, and while we do have and use our central air conditioning as necessary when it's too brutal outside, they have taken a huge load off of it and lowered our bills substantially. (We are in South/South Central Texas, so I actually just turned one on in our upstairs now that the sun is streaming in and it's over 80 and a bit humid in the house.)

@Brian26, I think you are the one from whom I learned about Midea's promotion in the spring. I appreciate your posting the information. Are you using one of these anywhere?

@peakbagger, our solar system just went active yesterday. We haven't been needing HVAC this month because it's so mild, but I think that right now I'm having some free cooling in November. A cold front should be moving in tomorrow, though, so there may be some heating later in the month.
 
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DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
727
Texas
We have some slider windows as well in our kids' bedrooms. We've said that if Midea ever came out with a version that did heat as well, it might just be worth it to look at replacing the sliders with double-hungs to be able to use it. (The windows aren't great to begin with, but we installed interior window inserts in them, and that has improved things.)
 

DBoon

Minister of Fire
Jan 14, 2009
1,215
Central NY
The hard part is the roof is only 5 years old so we would be waiting a while to try and do both the roof and solar for the fed aid like you suggested.
Unless the roof materials are absolutely the cheapest and lowest quality that could possibly have been installed 5 years ago (e.g., 20 year life bargain-basement asphalt shingles), I would say go ahead and put the array on the roof if that is the best place for it. It will be a long time before you have to remove it to re-roof.


Additionally we have to replace the propane boiler and water heater as soon as we close
It was already mentioned in the thread, but if you spend $3-4k on a good mini-split instead, you might take a lot of the shoulder-season heating load off of the existing propane boiler and get a little more life out of it before you have to replace it. And instead of replacing the propane hot water tank with another of the same, look at a hybrid (electric) heat-pump water heater instead. That will probably have a lower running cost than the propane water heater and may not cost any more to purchase up front.

Then, you can punt the decision about replacing the propane boiler down the road a bit and use the money for heating equipment (mini-split and hybrid heat pump water heater) that has a lower running cost and can use solar PV array electricity.
 

faultymechanics

New Member
Oct 15, 2020
69
New Hampshire
Unless the roof materials are absolutely the cheapest and lowest quality that could possibly have been installed 5 years ago (e.g., 20 year life bargain-basement asphalt shingles), I would say go ahead and put the array on the roof if that is the best place for it. It will be a long time before you have to remove it to re-roof.



It was already mentioned in the thread, but if you spend $3-4k on a good mini-split instead, you might take a lot of the shoulder-season heating load off of the existing propane boiler and get a little more life out of it before you have to replace it. And instead of replacing the propane hot water tank with another of the same, look at a hybrid (electric) heat-pump water heater instead. That will probably have a lower running cost than the propane water heater and may not cost any more to purchase up front.

Then, you can punt the decision about replacing the propane boiler down the road a bit and use the money for heating equipment (mini-split and hybrid heat pump water heater) that has a lower running cost and can use solar PV array electricity.
I would consider doing something like that (although I'm not a huge fan of having useless baseboard sitting around and the process to remove and plug all those holes doesn't seem fun) but the current propane boiler isn't safe. Currently it is leaking Propane, you can smell it. I want that out of the house as soon as possible. Besides the fact that its also exhausting through the same chimney as the wood stove insert which is illegal in NH.

There's a lot that is unsafe about the current system that sort of forces our hand on replacing the entire thing at once. :/
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,854
South Puget Sound, WA
We're toggling back and forth between the heat pump and the stove. So far this has been a mild November.
 

stoveliker

Member
Nov 17, 2019
216
Eastern Long Island NY
Same here. Two long burns with one night at 22 F, and today 60 F and sunny...
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,791
Northern NH
I was on the heat pump for week until yesterday. Fired the wood boiler up again.
 

Brian26

Minister of Fire
Sep 20, 2013
550
Branford, CT
Here is a good illustration of both my mini split's running overnight. At just after 9am you can see my solar production in yellow start directly powering my mini splits.

At night I use my excess solar net metered power. You can also see my panels starting to clip around noon. Its a cold clear day here today.

Screenshot_20201208-124006_Monitor.jpg
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,854
South Puget Sound, WA
Nice Brian. That has to be a good feeling.
I woke up to 50º early morning temps today. Crazy for early December. Burning electrons today for sure.