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SoxFan44 08-21-2013 01:21 PM

Air source heat pump (New England)
 
Currently our 2400 sq ft house has an oil furnace with forced hot water baseboards, and no central AC. We want central air and are also tired of paying $600 / month for oil in the winter. So naturally I started looking into air source heat pumps. Few questions:

1) Is it possible to have the heat pump be the primary heating source, and have the oil burner kick on when the outside temp falls below 20 degrees (or whenever the heat pump no longer is efficient)? I don't want to be manually switching on things. I want to just set the temp and have the right source create the heat.

2) Is there a way to find out how many hours / year are below a certain temp, on average? I want to get an idea of how often the oil burner is going to be on.

3) Is there something that can circulate the water in the baseboards during extended periods when they're not used? Or would this even be required?

4) Should I have antifreeze put into the baseboards?

Thanks!!

beenthere 08-22-2013 06:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SoxFan44 (Post 1232264)
Currently our 2400 sq ft house has an oil furnace with forced hot water baseboards, and no central AC. We want central air and are also tired of paying $600 / month for oil in the winter. So naturally I started looking into air source heat pumps. Few questions:

1) Is it possible to have the heat pump be the primary heating source, and have the oil burner kick on when the outside temp falls below 20 degrees (or whenever the heat pump no longer is efficient)? I don't want to be manually switching on things. I want to just set the temp and have the right source create the heat.

Yes, both can be connected to the same thermostat. And if the thermostat has an outdoor sensor, it can lock out the oil until a certain temp.

2) Is there a way to find out how many hours / year are below a certain temp, on average? I want to get an idea of how often the oil burner is going to be on.

Yes, manual J has bin data that will tell you that.

3) Is there something that can circulate the water in the baseboards during extended periods when they're not used? Or would this even be required?

Shouldn't be needed.

4) Should I have antifreeze put into the baseboards?

Thanks!!

Shouldn't need antifreeze. As the boiler will be running when your outdoor temps are low enough to cause any problem. At 20 degree outdoor temp, the baseboards would still be well above freezing if the inside temp of the house is 70.

joecaption 08-22-2013 08:58 AM

How well insulated is this home?
Old leaking windows and doors?
Adding the proper amount of insulation and up dating the windows will lower the cost to heat and cool year round and should not cost much to do considering the energy savings.
Look into using what's called a Mini Split. There super cheap to run and easy to install.
No expensive duct work to run.

SoxFan44 08-22-2013 09:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joecaption (Post 1232646)
How well insulated is this home?
Old leaking windows and doors?
Adding the proper amount of insulation and up dating the windows will lower the cost to heat and cool year round and should not cost much to do considering the energy savings.
Look into using what's called a Mini Split. There super cheap to run and easy to install.
No expensive duct work to run.

Home was built in the 60's, so insulation isn't bad, isn't great. I've opened up a few walls and what I've seen is probably like R10-ish. Windows are new. Front door leaks, but that's getting replaced. The one major source of loss will be 5 sliding doors in a sunroom. Unfortunately there's not much I can do about that.

Doesn't a mini split require a unit in each room? One of those wall mounted things? Ducts should be pretty easy to run, have attic access to the upstairs, and basement access to the first floor.

Thanks for your advice.

joecaption 08-22-2013 09:29 AM

http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?...sulation_table
My reasoning for suggesting a mini split is the cost factor.
Ease of install.
LG makes one you can hang a picture over the face of the unit.
Those sliding doors are a huge source of heat and cool lost. The cheaper the door the worst it is.
In the winter I would at least add those shrink films over them.

hvactech126 08-22-2013 05:36 PM

A mini split can NOT be setup to be the primary heat source and automatically switch to the HWB as the backup heat source using the same thermostat


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