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Old 09-03-2008, 01:40 PM   #1
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Better for heat pump or electric coil/strip?


We bought a new house in April and have had to replace one thing after another. A new air conditioner has been put in now, with the HVAC person recommending an electric coil for use in early fall/late spring so we don't have to turn our boiler on and off. This made sense. Now, another HVAC person is recommending a heat pump instead of electric coil, saying it would be more efficient. One of the big issues is not only cost, but waiting to upgrade our electrical system from a 200 amp service to a 320 amp service, mainly because of the electrical coil. Meanwhile, we have had no air conditioning, waiting for the electrical to be upgraded. We wouldn't have to do this with the heat pump, apparently. The HVAC person who put the air conditioner in is not sure a heat pump can be put on the system. Any information on best way to go, or suggestions?

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Old 09-03-2008, 02:07 PM   #2
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Better for heat pump or electric coil/strip?


Lori, I think what they are telling you is you need an [electric heat package] they come in 5,10,15,20...Kw's sized for you home. They fit inside the air handler or on top of it. I would have thought that 200 amp service would be enough for ?20Kw? maybe some one else can help here. If you add a heat pump you won't need your new A/C unit, you may be able to sell it to offset the cost of the heat pump. I hope I have helped.... j

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Old 09-03-2008, 02:32 PM   #3
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Better for heat pump or electric coil/strip?


Thanks for your reply. I may not be relaying the information correctly, as I am confused about it. The electric coil is 20 kw, and would apparently go on the air handler. But we are being told it is because of that we need to upgrade the electric. Our 200 amp service is full and apparently there are concerns the electric coil will draw too much considering what we already have. The other person said the heat pump would be placed outside with the condenser and work with the air conditioner - like running the air conditioner in reverse. So it wouldn't need more electricity - wouldn't be running the air conditioner and the heat pump together. Does this make more sense or do I still have information incorrect? Sorry if I am confused - we have had 3 HVAC people and 4 electricians all telling us something different!
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Old 09-03-2008, 05:57 PM   #4
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Better for heat pump or electric coil/strip?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lori 48616 View Post
Thanks for your reply. I may not be relaying the information correctly, as I am confused about it. The electric coil is 20 kw, and would apparently go on the air handler. But we are being told it is because of that we need to upgrade the electric. Our 200 amp service is full and apparently there are concerns the electric coil will draw too much considering what we already have. The other person said the heat pump would be placed outside with the condenser and work with the air conditioner - like running the air conditioner in reverse. So it wouldn't need more electricity - wouldn't be running the air conditioner and the heat pump together. Does this make more sense or do I still have information incorrect? Sorry if I am confused - we have had 3 HVAC people and 4 electricians all telling us something different!
So your 200 amp box is full OK Who said to upgrade it the heating guy or a electrician? Yes the heat pump will be place out side It will take the place of your A/C.
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Old 09-05-2008, 01:17 PM   #5
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Better for heat pump or electric coil/strip?


If all circuits in your 200 AMP service are dedicated, yes, you will need it upgraded. For a heat pump, no, you will not need upgraded service.

I would consider a heat pump, as the cost of service upgrade plus heat strips is probably the difference between A/C unit and heat pump. Even if it is not, you will get that money back with low cost heating until you turn on the boiler. A typical heat pump will cost you 3 to 5 times (that's 300% to 500%) less in electricity than the heat strips. With home heating oil costing this much, I'll bet a heat pump will reduce your seasonal heating budget in a noticeable way. Without know where you are located, you may be able to run the heat pump for a significant amount of the season.

Last edited by dac122; 09-05-2008 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 09-05-2008, 03:28 PM   #6
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Better for heat pump or electric coil/strip?


Lori, How were you heating the house before? Gas, Electric? You said in your first post the A/C is new? Correct? So all you have now is a air handler, with no heat in it Correct?

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