Heat Pump | HVAC?…. Heat Pumps.?
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Heat Pump | HVAC?…. Heat Pumps.?

We recently bought a foreclosure and, of course, the furnace and AC are missing and need to be replaced. It’s in a rural area in central Mn and gets down to -20F in the winter. We have a choice of propane or electric heat.The hvac guy we had out mentioned that a heat pump with a propane back-up may be the way to go. We’ll have 2 zones, one about 1100 sf and another about 900sf. I’m skeptical that a heat pump is as efficient as the claims made, and am concerned about reliability. To my mind propane is a better way to go but others are concerned about the wild swings in propane pricing. Any thoughts as to which system will cost less to operate? Best value?Any advise is appreciated. Thanks.The nearest natural gas pipeline is over a 1/4 mile away and we can get it …. for 20k … unless we get the neighbors to sign on and split the cost. Not likely.The electric heater kits is an interesting idea, in case propane costs sky rocket. Are these hard wired or plug in units?

Heat pumps are far better in cold temperatures than they used to be, but, in extreme conditions, the back-up heat can run often. It gets quite cold in central Indiana and heat pumps are every where and work nicely with electric auxiliary heat. With recent fuel cost, propane has become very expensive. A possible option would be to install a dual fuel( heat pump with propane backup) but also run a wire large enough to handle the addition of a heater kit later. The heater kit is inexpensive and easy to install. If propane prices were too costly, it would be easy to switch too all electric. The heat pump when it is above 20 degrees will work well with no backup heat and will be far cheaper to operate than gas. The question is which backup to use when its below 20 degrees.


Once the ambient (outside) temperature drops below freezing the heat pump isn’t going to do much. Most have resistance (heat strip) or gas backup for those situations. Overall, I’d say a propane system is the better selection, even with swings in the prices of that energy source. Unless you’re on an electric cooperative or provider that offers a very low rate I wouldn’t depend on resistance heat.

Excellent question! it’s my opinion that heat pumps lose most of their efficiency in colder climates. now, i realize people are going to say i’m wrong and it’s all about the install, but you simply do not get heat exchange across your outside coil when the outside air is at colder temps. therefore, the auxillery heat kicks on and there goes your efficiency. 15 KW every time the auxillery heat kicks on! (i can’t spell auxillery)

not only that but heat pumps have more circuits such as defrost and what not. in texas, hell yeah! get a heat pump! but in michigan/wisconsin/minnesota, i have real doubts.

if i were you, i would look into a high efficiency furnace. yeap, they are expensive on the front end but man, they get every BTU out of gas. 98% efficient. they have a condenser that condenses the exhaust fumes and returns those BTU’s to the living space. the exhaust fumes are so cool you can use PVC piping!

there are just so many things that can go wrong with a heat pump and in colder climates, i’m sorry, but i doubt there efficiency.

If you are in a situation where you can not get natural gas and your only heat choices are propane or electric then the only logical choice is a dual fuel system where you have the electric heat pump backed up with propane heat. I would certainly invest in a zoning system as well.

Live in NH and my house is total propane. The price is not bad compared to other fuels and the equipment is very efficient. My forced hot air system is 96% efficient and heats my 1700 sq. ft quite nicely. The only drawback is when we lose electricity. No electricity=no heat.

Hello,yes I prefer propane because I do not think also the price but also the efficiency. My HVAC professional suggested me also this. If you want you can also contact them.here is the website- http://www.air-conditioning-companies.com/

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