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Tindra 12-10-2012 06:22 AM

Two stage AC or heat pump?
Hi Everyone.,

I'll try to keep this brief, but apologize for the length of this post.

This spring, had a new modulation propane furnace installed, using my central AC system that has been in place since 1999. So far, I just love the new furnace! And the installer addressed some air flow restriction issues on my return line so the AC worked better this summer. But, the AC system had a few minor breakdowns over the summer, due to age. I am thinking about replacing the AC system early this spring, to avoid a total failure right when I need it most.

The cost difference between a 2-stage AC and a 2-stage heat pump is not that much, and I am seriously considering going with the heat pump to have a hybrid heating system, which I think will pay off considering the cost of propane! Question is this: My old AC was just a nice bare-bones workhorse.. simple contractor that fired up the compressor and condenser fan.. Not a lot of stuff to break. A heat pump would be more complicated.. therefore more stuff to fail. So my question is long term should I go for the heat pump or just an AC system?

raylo32 12-10-2012 07:34 AM

That far south and using propane instead of nat gas a heat pump seems like a no brainer. I'd bet you would rarely even get into the propane fired backup. Most pro installs with name brands come with nice long warranties.

ink 12-10-2012 02:18 PM

Make sure you (or your installer) understands the requirements of a 2-stage system. Does your new furnace support multi-stage operation? Does your thermostat? If the thermostat doesn't, are their enough leads in the thermostat wire to support that?

I'm going through this right now (switching from a 90's A/C to a new heat pump). It's kinda sucked. A good installer will know to ask these things. Mine didn't.

beenthere 12-10-2012 05:08 PM

Can use an IAQ or Edge thermostat if there are only 4 conductors to the existing thermostat.

Any new Modulating furnace will have the provisions for a 2 stage A/c or heat pump. Although the mod furnaces with a PSC or ECM(X13) blower aren't quite as good as a VS ECM blower.

Plus, Tindra is asking before hand, so good chance many of the pit falls can be avoided.

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