• Sign in to Neowin Faster!

    Create an account on Neowin to contribute and support the site.

Sign in to follow this  

Question on heat pumps

Recommended Posts

techbeck    6,924

Anyone have experience with heat pumps for the home?  I am living in a condo and I used almost twice as much power during the month of February than I did during January.  And my bill reflected that.  I read that head pumps are not efficient and do not work below freezing and conflicting things on whether or not they are more expensive to run compared to an electric furnace.  I have both an electric furnace and a heat pump.  Unfortunately, no gas heating.  The thermostat also says AUX heating a lot of the time a well.  Whatever the heck that means.   I live in N IL and it has been a colder than usual winter, but I am paying more for electricity it seams than when I lived in AZ during the summer and temps from 120-130.


HVAC is not my thing so please, dumb down your responses.

 

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim K    13,631

It costs more to heat your home.

 

Heat pumps are not efficient in really cold weather....below 32ish degrees (depending on system of course).  Heat pumps handle both your AC and heating ... by reversing direction depending on what you need (during the summer it removes heat from the inside ... during winter it reverses to bring in heat from the outside).  When it gets really cold outside ... your heat pump isn't able to bring enough outdoor heat to heat your home and/or your outside coils freeze over. 

 

Your Aux Heat is telling you that it is too cold outside and it is unable to bring in enough outside heat.  Therefore it is now using the heater coils (which uses more electricity than normal) and it's probably reversed (back to "AC") to transfer indoor heat to defrost your frozen-over outdoor coils.

 

With respect to heat pump and the furnace ... the pump will be way cheaper under normal operations.  Even with your really cold outside temps ... I would still assume the heat pump + aux heat would be cheaper to run.  I think the furnace would only need to be ran if the heat pump lost the battle and ice is forming indoors. /shrug (we don't have that problem down here in Alabama)

 

Clear as mud?  

 

Edit:

 

This explains what I was trying to say better and in only 4 minutes.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
techbeck    6,924
1 hour ago, Jim K said:

It costs more to heat your home.

 

Heat pumps are not efficient in really cold weather....below 32ish degrees (depending on system of course).  Heat pumps handle both your AC and heating ... by reversing direction depending on what you need (during the summer it removes heat from the inside ... during winter it reverses to bring in heat from the outside).  When it gets really cold outside ... your heat pump isn't able to bring enough outdoor heat to heat your home and/or your outside coils freeze over. 

 

Your Aux Heat is telling you that it is too cold outside and it is unable to bring in enough outside heat.  Therefore it is now using the heater coils (which uses more electricity than normal) and it's probably reversed (back to "AC") to transfer indoor heat to defrost your frozen-over outdoor coils.

 

With respect to heat pump and the furnace ... the pump will be way cheaper under normal operations.  Even with your really cold outside temps ... I would still assume the heat pump + aux heat would be cheaper to run.  I think the furnace would only need to be ran if the heat pump lost the battle and ice is forming indoors. /shrug (we don't have that problem down here in Alabama)

 

Clear as mud?  

 

Edit:

 

This explains what I was trying to say better and in only 4 minutes.

 

So should I turn off my heat pump and let the furnace run on its own then when it is to cold?  I have breakers that control just the heat pump so I can flip them off when needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim K    13,631

Probably not.  I would think that as long as the heat pump (even with Aux Heat) is keeping your house adequately warm it would still be using less energy than the electric furnace.  The only situation where I could see the furnace being used is when the heat pump isn't providing adequate heat.  That is the main advantage of a furnace ... it will get hot regardless of the outside temp.

 

Not sure if your power company is similar to mine ... but I can go online and see daily power usage.  If so, you could try the furnace for a day or two and compare the power consumption.  Though, I would wager your power consumption would go up (or maybe not).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
techbeck    6,924
19 minutes ago, Jim K said:

Probably not.  I would think that as long as the heat pump (even with Aux Heat) is keeping your house adequately warm it would still be using less energy than the electric furnace.  The only situation where I could see the furnace being used is when the heat pump isn't providing adequate heat.  That is the main advantage of a furnace ... it will get hot regardless of the outside temp.

 

Not sure if your power company is similar to mine ... but I can go online and see daily power usage.  If so, you could try the furnace for a day or two and compare the power consumption.  Though, I would wager your power consumption would go up (or maybe not).

Comed....what I have and I am feeling like I am getting bent over for the charges.  They have a free service where the will come out and evaluate things/check things out.  I am going to call tomorrow.  Thanks for the info tho.  Will help me not seem like a total fool.  haha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim K    13,631

It doesn't hurt to have your AC unit checked yearly (or even twice a year).  Might be something to look into.  However, I just happened to look up the temps for Illinois and you all have been having some temps in the 10's.  Your heat pump will really struggle with that...kinda surprised you haven't kicked on the furnace.  Once again ... they are not very efficient in really cold weather which will cause your energy bill to skyrocket.  I'm not very familiar with the cost of running electric furnaces (Alabama...don't need 'em) ... might be a question for whoever comes out tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
+Zag L.    717

Yep, we have a heat pump and it does go through a lot of electricity if the difference between the outside temp and inside is greater than 30 degrees F in the winter. That's about the limit our unit will be able to heat without turning on the auxiliary heater coils.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.