dmacarthur
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Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

And it certainly showed in their proposals: most of the local companies proposed systems that were obscenely oversized based on the actual heating load. Our heating load for a 99% outdoor design temp of 11F is around 30,000 btu/h, but most of the "elite" and "diamond" Fujitsu and Mitsubishi contractors were trying to sell me on 48,000 - 70,000 btu/h systems.
Agree with this- it is time-consuming but productive to do your own heat loss calculations because it is my suspicion that contractors do a quick run-through and then multiply by about 2 to be sure. So do your own, carefully, and stick with it, adding maybe 20%.....
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LeftieBiker
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Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

It looks like our central A/C unit is dying. It and the furnace are both over 20 years old, IIRC, so I'm reluctant to throw money at it. Can anyone point me to a good, honest, reasonably priced heat pump installer in the Albany - Saratoga Springs NY area? I've been trying to talk my housemate into getting a good air source heat pump that will provide enough heat down to 0F or so. It would probably have to have a backup furnace for her peace of mind, and that furnace would have to be either electric or oil -she's terrified of gas. I'm willing to put in $5k, so it would have to be in the $15k range, installed. I am no longer able to do this kind of work.
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LeftieBiker
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Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

Update: the issue isn't, as I at first thought, a refrigerant leak. For some reason the outdoor A/C unit tripped its breaker, leaving the system blowing cool air just because the ducts pass through our chilly cellar. I reset the breaker, and now it's running more or less normally, blowing cold air. This is the first time, though, that it's done that, so I'm guessing it won't be the last.
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dmacarthur
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Posts: 463
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:00 pm
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Location: Vermont

Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

I've been trying to talk my housemate into getting a good air source heat pump that will provide enough heat down to 0F or so. It would probably have to have a backup furnace for her peace of mind,
We run heat pumps in one rental unit which have reliably heated with no backup for 3 years in Vermont- it is a Fujitsu unit but others are probably by now able to provide heat at well below zero. I know this does not ease the "peace of mind" issue but..... it can work!
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SageBrush
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Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

dmacarthur wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 4:59 pm
And it certainly showed in their proposals: most of the local companies proposed systems that were obscenely oversized based on the actual heating load. Our heating load for a 99% outdoor design temp of 11F is around 30,000 btu/h, but most of the "elite" and "diamond" Fujitsu and Mitsubishi contractors were trying to sell me on 48,000 - 70,000 btu/h systems.
Agree with this- it is time-consuming but productive to do your own heat loss calculations because it is my suspicion that contractors do a quick run-through and then multiply by about 2 to be sure. So do your own, carefully, and stick with it, adding maybe 20%.....
The story I've heard is that installers have two big reasons to oversize:

1. Bigger installs mean more profit
2. It would be a rare post-installation call complaining of poor efficiency (and it would be easy to deflect the blame) but woe to the installer who gets a call complaining that the system is inadequate to keep the house at the desired temperature. Merkins are their own worst enemy.
Last edited by SageBrush on Sat May 14, 2022 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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LeftieBiker
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Re: Share Your Home Electrification/Efficiency Improvements

We run heat pumps in one rental unit which have reliably heated with no backup for 3 years in Vermont- it is a Fujitsu unit but others are probably by now able to provide heat at well below zero. I know this does not ease the "peace of mind" issue but..... it can work!
Thanks. It isn't as if we couldn't run electric space heaters if needed - we do that now. If I can succeed in convincing her to delete the fossil fuel furnace, then we can probably afford a good heating system. The issue then becomes mating an air source heat pump with our hot air duct work. Or going back to trying to find a contractor who will install a heat pump in tandem with our existing oil furnace...
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