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Old 12-03-2010, 07:53 AM   #1
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Is there an effective assist for heat pumps?


My system is getting near retirement age. Regardless of that, as with most heat pumps when it gets below 30F it pretty much needs to have the aux. (heat strips) kicked in or thermostat lowered inside. Is there an effective means by which the outside air near the units can be "warmed" even slightly so as to make that electricity using aux. heat avoided.
I had a neighbor a few years back when I first moved to SC who used to put a light- don't know what kind - at his units durning these brief winter chills. I can only suspect that this was a heat source that assisted his unit. Any serious advice would be appreciated. - Thanks

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Old 12-03-2010, 10:12 AM   #2
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Is there an effective assist for heat pumps?


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Originally Posted by jackofmany View Post
My system is getting near retirement age. Regardless of that, as with most heat pumps when it gets below 30F it pretty much needs to have the aux. (heat strips) kicked in or thermostat lowered inside. Is there an effective means by which the outside air near the units can be "warmed" even slightly so as to make that electricity using aux. heat avoided.
I had a neighbor a few years back when I first moved to SC who used to put a light- don't know what kind - at his units durning these brief winter chills. I can only suspect that this was a heat source that assisted his unit. Any serious advice would be appreciated. - Thanks
You could get a couple outdoor propane heaters and aim them at the outdoor unit.. Probably will not be very efficient though and you'll be spending a lot on propane... You're likely better off putting in a gas furnace as the blower and backup instead of electric heat strips. That is what I have and I love it. Alternatively you could burn wood in a wood stove or fireplace insert to supplement the HP.


In my case the heat pump is 4 times less expensive than running resistive backup and 1.3-1.9 times less expensive than 92% efficient gas backup heat, but the HP can't keep up on it's own below 30F..

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