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Heat Pump Thread

Discussion in 'The DIY Room' started by wildwest, Dec 11, 2021.

  1. wildwest

    wildwest Moderator

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    There's been interest in these over the years and I though it might be helpful to get them in one thread.

    bogieb and savemoney have them and some helpful links.

    Jump in with questions, information, or anything :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2021
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  2. wildwest

    wildwest Moderator

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  3. wildwest

    wildwest Moderator

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  4. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu

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    Trying to bump your post count up there WW? :rofl: :lol:
     
  5. wildwest

    wildwest Moderator

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    :rofl: :lol::rofl: :lol:

    They are post placeholders so I can add helpful information and links that come up at the top in the future and they won't be lost pages into the thread :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2021
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  6. wildwest

    wildwest Moderator

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    We're seriously considering one, lifestyle changes (and aging) and the costs of different fuels, and now the DIY kits make them more attractive. Years ago when I first heard of them here (thank you fox9988 for explaining how they work for me more than once) I didn't think twice about it because I don't need A/C, they lose heating oomph at cold temperatures we have here all winter and paying for installation. It will be combination of heat pump, pellet stove and wood stove. It would be so nice to adjust thermostat and cut down on hauling pellets and stove cleanings.

    After some research and education we're looking at $3500 for an ideal set up here, not the random ad from the internet for $1800 that my husband was on board with. (DIY, not installed). Hmm, that makes a difference on something we'll used ~2/3 of the year... Idk, my Dad's last central A/C unit cost him $5,ooo to replace so I guess it's all relative.

    Why are the air handlers mounted up by the ceiling? I want heat down by the floor where the cold air instead of where the rest of the warm air has already risen. My desk is mounted on a wall and it sits at drafting height, (30") for that matter why don't I put one under there for my higher temp needs and not cook out my family in the rest of the house?
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2021
  7. bogieb

    bogieb

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    The vent from the mini split will push the heat down to the floor. I believe most let you either keep the vent static, in the position you choose, or it can oscilate up and down. During cold weather, it will take warmer air by the ceiling, and circulate it, then kick on when extra heat is needed. If you just want something for your feet, just a little area heater or a desk foot warmer will do the trick. But, that wouldn't cut down on hauling pellet or stove cleanings.
     
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  8. wildwest

    wildwest Moderator

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    :eek: Thanks BB, that is super ideal! Seems like I'm always dinking around with fans to get that warm down into the room instead of up by the ceiling. Depending on the weather I'll put the Vornado right in middle of the room, regardless of where it is it'd be nice to not have to walk around it.

    Could you tell why the air handlers come in different BTU's from 9K to 24K?
     
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  9. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu

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    Is it possible that the air handler can be mounted low in cold climates, and then up high in places where they would tend to be used for cooling duties more so?
     
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  10. bogieb

    bogieb

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    Last year I was WFH, and used 6k window A/C in my office with a 12k portable A/C in my living room. Even with the bedroom doors closed, so I was only trying to keep 600 sq/ft cool, during the afternoons the A/Cs struggled to keep the temp below 80* in the afternoon. My house is 2x4 built, has no house wrap and has a lot of southern and western exposure. Add in the two computers, 3 monitors, modems, printers etc in my 9x9 office, and it was not at all comfortable. Oh, and my electric bills were the highest I had ever had at this house.

    When I found out I would be permanent WFH, I started looking into mini-splits specifically for A/C (not even thinking they could heat also) and got several quotes. I thought I would get a Mitsubishi, but the contractor didn't listen to me when I told him I wanted slightly bigger than what the specs would indicate. Although he did conceded to put a unit in my office, it was the smallest (6k) and he wouldn't put in anything over a 12k in the living room. Although I realized that the mini-split would be more efficient than the units I had been using, I still felt that my knowledge of the dynamics of my house indicated I needed more. After all, just as in a pellet stove, I can use the minimum, but can't get more out of it if needed.

    Another guy gave me quotes on both Mitsubishi and Lennox. He at least listened to my concerns about the office and lifted that to a 9k unit. The third guy had Fujitsu, and gave me a quote for a 12k in my office and 15k in the living room. I was happier with that set up, and the fact that he understood what lots of electronics in a small room would do (he's run systems for server rooms). He actually listened to me when I told him my concerns and the dynamics of air convection (or lack thereof) in this house. Oh, and he is the only one who would try to place it partway over the living room window in order to get the airstream closer to going down the hall - everyone else wanted it in the furthest corner, where all the airflow would hit the opposite wall and bounce back into the room. The Fujitsu system was installed 5/7/2021.

    I have one condenser which can run down to 5*F with two head units. During the summer I stayed nice and cool. The dehumidify setting was one of my favorites - getting indoor humidity down from ~80% into the 60's and 50's was priceless. My monthly electric usage May thru September (kwh) was the lower to just slightly over what I had been using that April (we had a hot 7-10 days where I used the A/C's - in fact the day the mini split was installed, the A/C's were going).

    In November, I used the pellet stoves exclusively to keep warm. Then being curious, on December 1 I started running the mini-split during the day (basement stove is always on since that is the only heat source). Wind is the biggest enemy during cold weather. During wicked windy days, I have run the P43 (main floor stove) during the day, but then some nights (like last night) I've left the mini-split as the heat source. I am curious to see how the electric usage is affected. I'm also looking for the best way to keep my office a fairly stable temperature so I'm mixing up things as I go. This is all one big experiment at this point.
     
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  11. bogieb

    bogieb

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    It depends on how the system is to be used, and how the air flows in your house. The btu is used like a pellet stove, the larger the area, the more btu you need. If the airflow doesn't work well throughout the house, you may need a couple of heads, with them sized appropriately. Of course the P61a in the basement should be able to handily heat my basement and main floor - on paper. Because of airflow dynamics, specific room circumstances, and house orientation to the summer sun, I opted for two units and oversized them a bit.

    Really, each house is going to be different. someone with 2x6 construction (as opposed to my 2x4), with good insulation, housewrap and a fairly open floor plan may be able to heat a larger home with just 12-18k, whereas even my small house calls for a about 17k btu at the best of times. Try looking at this site which will give you things to think about as far as btu needs, and how your space is organized (it's mostly about cooling, but the second to last paragraph tells you how to adjust for heating).

    Oh, and one last thing, my system always circulates air when it is on, just the fan speed increases whtn it calls for heat (or A/C).
     
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  12. MikeInMa

    MikeInMa

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    During the summer months, we have the ceiling fan blowing down. That alone allows us to be comfortable, at a higher temp on the AC thermostat.
     
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  13. Eggshooterist

    Eggshooterist

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    Our main heat source is an air to air heat pump with propane forced air furnace back up. If anyone has questions about that style of system I'll do my best answer them.
     
  14. bogieb

    bogieb

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    There is a heat pump / mini split thread that Heidi started. I think people forget it is there (or assumed there wasn't one) as I've seen several conversations on other threads too.

    Back to bikes! Old pic from 2015 when I road to central NY during a cold, gloomy and rainy late June weekend. My friend's hubby took this pic as I turned into their driveway.

    Arriving at Jessica place in NY.jpg
     
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  15. billb3

    billb3

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  16. bogieb

    bogieb

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    Well, now that my post with the link got moved to this thread, the only ones that will see your post are the 4 people that were already part of it ;)

    And everyone will be confused as to why I posted my old bike pic :rofl: :lol:
     
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  17. bogieb

    bogieb

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    Hey gbreda , after the heat/humidity roll thru this weekend, you can tell us all about how your system works. Also, maybe tell what system you got (I think you got a brand that we don't hear about a lot. Also, savemoney , let people know what you got a couple of years ago.

    My update since my December entry:

    I used the mini split for winter heat than I thought I would. TBH, I really didn't realize they had heat when I had it put in. And then I didn't think I would use it much since electric prices are so high here. But, after using strictly the P43 to heat my main floor during the fall, in December I decided to try out the mini split on milder days.

    I used the MS on days that were 20* or above, except on really windy days. My December electric bill wasn't nearly as high as I figured it would be. And in fact computation of the pellets I saved said I spent about the same amount (assuming $5.50/bag price for pellets), I kept using the system when appropriate throughout the winter. Technically I could have used the system down to 5* (the condensor's rating), but unless the sun was shining, it just "felt" colder in the house, so most times I used the 20* rule.

    My experience stayed the same in that the rise in electric usage/cost was comparable to to the amount of pellets I saved. And the reduction in noise was appreciated.

    I really appreciated the mini split in the spring. With milder temps the P43 would overshoot the set temp and it would get hot (not the stove or thermostat's fault - just a function of the size of my house). The MS system kept the inside temp from swinging wildly. And, I used the heating abilities just last weekend when temps outside were cold, it was heavily overcast (although the humidity levels stayed in the 20-30% range) and windy so the house didn't have a chance at solar gain. I can tell that I will be using the system pretty exclusively during shoulder seasons from here on out. Of course the basement is solely pellet heat and I do not plan to change that.

    Of course I have used the MS for cooling (the reason I had it installed), but it has been fairly cool so far this spring, so those days have been few. This weekend it will be getting a good workout though as the heat and humidity will be heading in today.
     
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  18. savemoney

    savemoney

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    Well stated, accurate as I see it the same here. I only can address one floor of heating, that being the bottom floor of a raised ranch. I have no regrets and am pleased beyond my expectations. We live in an climate where I had long doubted the realistic use of a minisplit but I was wrong or the technology improved. Who knows what changes will come along,
     
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  19. savemoney

    savemoney

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    I thought that was a bit awkward to be posted in this thread. Now I can see that it really wasn't intended.
     
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  20. Earl764

    Earl764

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    I just pulled the trigger on a ducted heat pump. I have forced air oil furnace with central ac. The existing air handler, furnace, oil tank, and ac are coming out.

    Going in is a multistage air handler, and a 20 seer bosch heat pump rated for down to -3. On the off chance we get that cold, for backup is a resistance electric heater. And the pellet stove as well.