LeftieBiker
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Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

We've already waited too long, and our oil-fired region will likely get those new heat pumps well after much of the country.
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goldbrick
Posts: 1737
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:33 pm
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Location: Boulder, CO

Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

Just ordered a heat pump water heater yesterday. According to the sales info it should pay for itself in 4 years due to reduced electrical costs. I don't know how accurate that is since our domestic hot water is currently NG using an on-demand heater. Anywho, my main motivation is to disconnect the gas line to the house. That will certainly make it economical since we pay nearly $40/month just in 'fees' to be connected to the gas line.

We currently have gas for domestic hot water and house heating (same unit) and the dryer. I have an electric dryer ready to install but need to find space for it in the basement, do the wiring and ducting, etc etc. The last piece of the puzzle will be house heat. For that I'm planning to do some sort of air-source heat pumps but I think that might be beyond my DIY capabilities. I'll update later when the water heater is installed. Hopefully it will get done by EOY but no guarantees :lol:
dmacarthur
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Location: Vermont

Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

Don't forget GB that the heat pump HW heater essentially cannibalizes heat from whatever room it is in, so..... don't put it in a bathroom, bedroom not great because they make noise when running,.... basements are the best because the basement will be heated at least partially from the Earth and probably partially by unused heat from the heating system. The heat pump will cool off whatever room it is in by the same number of BTUs that are used to heat the water (well, efficiency aside...) There is no FREE lunch.....
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LeftieBiker
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Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

Speaking of half-assed ground sourcing: when I connect the portable heat pump in the dining room, with the exhaust out that window, I figure that the air coming in to replace the cold exhausted air is mainly coming in through the foundation, and being warmed by the cellar, which is in turn warmed by the ground... I may even try to rig a conduit to bring up cellar air more directly.

On a darker note, I've been looking for an air source heat pump that is affordable for us (my housemate has veto power over spending, and she's fairly Cheap) and that will directly replace the 13.0 EER central A/C unit on the North wall of the house, sending heat as well as cold to the A coil in the furnace. The two units were sold and installed as a pair, and the furnace manufacturer says that while they no longer sell heat pumps, what I suggest is quite possible. The Interweb as a whole, however, says:

No.
NO.
NO!
NO, NO, NO!
Yes. Maybe.

I'm not looking for super high efficiency at a price of $5k. I want to avoid running the oil furnace when temps are above about 20F. Opinions? Suggestions? The local installers take a $3k heat pump, install it, and charge $8500, although that, presumable, is with a new, matched air handler. I want to take a $3k heat pump, and have it connected to the same lines that currently carry refrigerant for the central A/C. The A/C unit is rated at, depending on which sub-model it is, between 29,000 and 36,000 BTUs. Does that limit me to a 36k BTU heat pump, or can I go higher?
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goldbrick
Posts: 1737
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:33 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Aug 2017
Leaf Number: 311806
Location: Boulder, CO

Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

The water heater is going in an unfinished but partially insulated basement. I am a bit concerned about cooling it in the winter since the house's forced air blower is also down there. (there is a heating coil inside the ducts that replaced the old NG burner).

The unit I bought claims that both the inlet and outlet air streams can be ducted. I have a convenient run to the attic in the chase that held the flue for the old gas furnace exhaust so I'm planning to duct both the inlet and outlet to the attic. I figure I can get hot air from the attic and cool it at the same time, so yes....a free lunch! However, the water heater inlet air temp is supposed to be < 145F. I don't know how hot my attic gets in the summer but I wouldn't be surprised if it exceeds that sometimes. So I might have to pull inlet air from the basement in the summer or maybe I can schedule the water heater to not run during the afternoons in the summer. I won't know until next year how much I need to worry about this but I'm confident I can figure something out. Also, I'm hoping putting the cool exhaust air into the attic will help keep the temps down. The attic is also now shaded by solar panels but I don't know how much that will help.
dmacarthur
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Posts: 463
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Location: Vermont

Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

Sounds like you have this all figured..... and if your DHW heater is like the ones we use it can be set to run pure heat pump, hybrid or pure electric so if there are any issues it still works... hard to imagine even air hotter than 145F coming down a duct and not cooling off enough to be safe for the unit.
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goldbrick
Posts: 1737
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:33 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Aug 2017
Leaf Number: 311806
Location: Boulder, CO

Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

I hope so. It sure seems like it will work and this unit also has electric backup just in case. It's pretty fancy (Rheem Performance Platinum) so I imagine it will do everything I need. My biggest concern is getting the util company to disconnect the gas line. I assume they will do that but I doubt it will be free or cheap.
danrjones
Posts: 1388
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:02 am
Delivery Date: 17 Jun 2019
Location: Ridgecrest, CA

Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

LeftieBiker wrote: Thu Nov 11, 2021 1:48 pm Speaking of half-assed ground sourcing: when I connect the portable heat pump in the dining room, with the exhaust out that window, I figure that the air coming in to replace the cold exhausted air is mainly coming in through the foundation, and being warmed by the cellar, which is in turn warmed by the ground... I may even try to rig a conduit to bring up cellar air more directly.

On a darker note, I've been looking for an air source heat pump that is affordable for us (my housemate has veto power over spending, and she's fairly Cheap) and that will directly replace the 13.0 EER central A/C unit on the North wall of the house, sending heat as well as cold to the A coil in the furnace. The two units were sold and installed as a pair, and the furnace manufacturer says that while they no longer sell heat pumps, what I suggest is quite possible. The Interweb as a whole, however, says:

No.
NO.
NO!
NO, NO, NO!
Yes. Maybe.

I'm not looking for super high efficiency at a price of $5k. I want to avoid running the oil furnace when temps are above about 20F. Opinions? Suggestions? The local installers take a $3k heat pump, install it, and charge $8500, although that, presumable, is with a new, matched air handler. I want to take a $3k heat pump, and have it connected to the same lines that currently carry refrigerant for the central A/C. The A/C unit is rated at, depending on which sub-model it is, between 29,000 and 36,000 BTUs. Does that limit me to a 36k BTU heat pump, or can I go higher?
Well if you read some of my posts (other thread) I had good luck with the Mr. cool brand, their quirky adds aside. I can't tell you anything on longevity though. But the price was right. A full five ton heat pump system and pre-charged lines for less than 4k. Installed myself.
so if you have an old split system - outside compressor, inside or attic blower, that could be a nearly drop in replacement. but you would need to pull their new lines they provide. All pre-charged. Now if you don't want a full split system, they also sell DIY mini splits. Costco sells those as kits and they are cheap and come with their own pre-charged line sets. I may do one of those for my garage.

If you want I can provide you a link to the unit I bought, if you can't find the thread I did.

As far as your BTUs, you need to go with the unit the hits your target for either higher AC or heat pump loads. Probably heat pump for you? Then your AC will run for less time. You don't want to overly short cycle, but even a professionally installed unit has the same issue, they only install for the max load. Sure they have fancy tech like multi stage compressors and such, but the max tonnage is the same.

Your one wrinkle is that it sounds like you would keep your oil furnace? So you would have an A coil on top of your furnace, and the furnace has the blower? Maybe I'm reading that wrong.
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LeftieBiker
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Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2018
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Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

Yes, furnace with A coil. I want to make sure that I can go with, say, 48kbtu and have it work with the 29-36k btu A/C system components that will remain in place. That means going with non-pre-charged lines, because they have to be connected to the A coil.

MR. Cool is the brand mini split that I installed myself a couple of years ago. I'm unhappy with the way it lets the temperature wander up to 4 degrees, but it's been reliable.
Brilliant Silver 2021 Leaf SV40 W/ Pro Pilot & Protection
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 2 lithium E-bicycles.
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PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.
danrjones
Posts: 1388
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:02 am
Delivery Date: 17 Jun 2019
Location: Ridgecrest, CA

Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

LeftieBiker wrote: Mon Nov 15, 2021 3:13 pm Yes, furnace with A coil. I want to make sure that I can go with, say, 48kbtu and have it work with the 29-36k btu A/C system components that will remain in place. That means going with non-pre-charged lines, because they have to be connected to the A coil.

MR. Cool is the brand mini split that I installed myself a couple of years ago. I'm unhappy with the way it lets the temperature wander up to 4 degrees, but it's been reliable.
So for mine, because its whole house, I used a Honeywell T10 thermostat. So I can't comment on the Mr. Cool thermostat that comes with their mini splits. (No thermostat is included with the whole house units) I will say the T10 is quite good, with a huge variety of setup options. High tech but not shout in your face like a nest.

So for your unique situation I think they do sell the individual components, and then you need to get an installer in to do the vacuuming of the lines and weighing in the refrigerant. I know they even sell an A coil kit, but when I checked, it was AC only. They may have some other options though, as they had more than one "brand". I used the Mr. Cool Universal... so you might want their Signature line or another.

Check out Ingram's Water and Air. They can give you good advice even if you don't buy through them.
https://iwae.com/shop/heating-air-conditioning/
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