Thread Number: 86493  /  Tag: Air Conditioners
There is so much vitroil with Heat pumps
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Post# 1110681   3/9/2021 at 09:19 (998 days old) by volsboy1 (East Tenn Smoky mountains )        

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I think all this Vitriol about heat pumps is from past experience with these Old American Type we have all grew up with.
For the longest Heat pumps being one speed were sized for cooling.With Heating deficiencies were made up with Heat Strips.

Variable speed compressors have been available is Asia for quite a long time compared to here.

Having a variable speed compressor greatly enhances its cooling and heating moxi of any system.Even now there only in high end systems . The Mini Splits of Asia have variable speed compressors all across the board with there lines for the most part and they also use .

Flash Injection and multiply expansion tricks and Sub-cooling helps greatly. After its giving up its heat to the indoors its heading outside but there is still heat inside of the refrigerant left over. A sub-cooler lets a portion of the refrigerant flash expand and cool and remove that heat and send it back to the compressor for re-compression.This allows the refrigerant to absorb much more heat from the cold outdoor air.

When I got my Rheem unit last April I was told that Mini Splits can't be tied into existing Air-handlers and coils upstairs.That is a Lie. These Air contractors hate these diy folks and will say or do anything to keep you paying 15 grand for a new Top of the Line Trane/Lennox unit.

I can't afford Trane would not want it so I got a plain single stage Rheem. I could have got a Variable speed 3 ton mini split and tied into my Air-handler and had a system that could cope with temps down to below zero and for much less money. My Rheem once it hits 20 it never turns off and the best it can do is 68 degrees anymore and the EM heat kicks on.

I am thinking about selling my Heat pump and doing it anyway I would break even but I would have a better 20+ seer system instead of the 15 I have now.

Post# 1110688 , Reply# 1   3/9/2021 at 11:13 (998 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
the new mini-splits

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are amazing, the one at our place in northern VT will still heat at minus 15 outside temps. I believe Mitsubishi invented the newest inverter technology for these cold climate heat pumps and remains the gold standard, can't say enough good about it. Cools equally well too on the few humid hot days we get there. We have a new somewhat smaller Friedrich mini-spit unit installed last year for the upstairs and it isnt't quite as good as the Mitsu imo.

Post# 1110717 , Reply# 2   3/9/2021 at 14:56 (998 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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That last thread did seem to bash heat pumps quite a bit. There was a lot of feel good dogma much as we see with gas vs electric/induction cooking and vertical axis vs horizontal washing machines. There will always be personal preferences and opinion, but neither of those can change empirical fact.

I can't imagine installing an air conditioner today that didn't have a reversing valve.

Post# 1110767 , Reply# 3   3/9/2021 at 19:40 (997 days old) by bradfordwhite (central U.S.)        

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Starting a new thread isn't going to change the facts.

Super insulated homes with 8" to 12" of wall insulation, 18" of ceiling insulation as well as an insulated floor is far better money spent than ANY heating system.

Goals should be to be able to heat your room with an incandescent light bulb or equivalent.

Natural gas/bottled gas/any petroleum gas is not safe and shouldn't be anywhere near a house.

Heat pumps and petroleum burning appliances make NOISE and have a relatively short life. They are also complicated, expensive, and maintenance intensive.

Baseboard electric heaters are silent, have no moving parts, very affordable, easy to install, and don't explode or leak noxious fumes. They are also 100% efficient and last a long time.

Previous generations screwed over surviving generations in the u.s. by getting them hooked (in some regions) on gas burning appliances in their homes. Providing a false sense of EXPENSIVE security
funneling the fuel early on to electric generating plants and subsidizing home insulation and conversion to all electric.

Mini-split AC ONLY units are an excellent value and better than ducted systems because a home owner can install, they can run off of a modest solar electric system, they can easily have zones, they are relatively quiet, they don't require dusty ducts that can grow mold and pollute a home, and at about $400 for a 12000 btu including delivery, they are affordable.

This isn't to say that there isn't other ways of heating or cooling that work. There are still people happily burning coal, or wood, or oil. There are still people who don't have air conditioning or they use a swamp cooler.

People will happily embrace the past because in their minds they are familiar, but new stuff that has the potential to propel us forward in a big way..... people are hesitant. We are comfy with something we know even if it's no longer the best. Until there is overWHELMING proof and new technology works AND all-your-friends-are doing-it-too, people drag their feet.

Post# 1110784 , Reply# 4   3/9/2021 at 21:44 (997 days old) by gizmo (Victoria, Australia)        

Base board heaters may be 100% efficient but a good reverse-cycle aircon is 500% efficient - it uses 1000 Watts electricity to produce 5000 Watts heating or cooling.

Our house has a modest 3kw solar power system, we run a small Mitsubishi Electric reverse cycle split system - mostly for cooling in summer but it gets used on cold sunny days in winter for heating too. Link below. 

Our house is very thermally efficient (by Australian standards) with double skin "mud brick" walls with polystyrene insulation between the mud skins, double glazing, passive solar design, thick polyester batts in ceiling and upstairs wall cavities. We do use a small radiant heater in the bathroom on the coldest mornings - 400/800 watts but 400 is usually enough.

Noise is negligible - both indoor and outdoor.

we don't use the aircon much as the home moderates its own temperature to a degree. We also have a small wood heater which burns wood we have grown ourselves. Again, it gets used for small periods - generally on a cold evening it will burn for about 4 or 5 hours and the mud walls hold the warmth till next evening.


Post# 1110787 , Reply# 5   3/9/2021 at 22:04 (997 days old) by bradfordwhite (central U.S.)        

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Baseboards and the new flat panel wall heaters are silent. 


But AC's do make noise, even the mini-splits.


You know what doesn't make noise when it cools is an RV absorption style frig. 


No noise and it freezes as good as a compressor based freezer. 


Now how can we adapt this to have silent AC? 

CLICK HERE TO GO TO bradfordwhite's LINK

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Post# 1110789 , Reply# 6   3/9/2021 at 22:07 (997 days old) by bradfordwhite (central U.S.)        

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Have you seen these new flat panel heaters?


They stick out about an inch.  Plug into a standard outlet or connect to a thermostat.


$100   no moving parts and no noise.


no duct work, no chimney, no leaks, no explosions, no gas lines, no gas bill, 100% efficient, no contracts for service calls....

CLICK HERE TO GO TO bradfordwhite's LINK

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Post# 1110795 , Reply# 7   3/9/2021 at 22:44 (997 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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I want noise.  Grew up with window units.  Need background sound to sleep nicely.

Post# 1110807 , Reply# 8   3/10/2021 at 00:18 (997 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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The parents have had heat pumps (2-speeders) for probably 25+ years.  They love it.

An aunt and uncle's house built in 1965, I recall uncle years ago saying "we have a heat pump" but I don't know if such is original to the house or changed-out to it later.  They're some miles outside their area town, farming community, all-electric house, no natural gas available.

I changed the 1982 builder-grade system at my first house to a 2-speed system in 2000.  My 2nd house in 2005 (built in 2004) already had a builder-grade 1-speed system, which continues to run OK.

Post# 1110812 , Reply# 9   3/10/2021 at 01:06 (997 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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The house across the street from us, built fall, 1960/spring 1961, had a heat pump in it. It was a Reddy Kilowatt Gold Medallion Home. There was also a garage door opener.

Post# 1110813 , Reply# 10   3/10/2021 at 02:12 (997 days old) by gizmo (Victoria, Australia)        

absorption refrigerators are horribly inefficient. They might be silent but they use vast amounts of power - maybe 5 to 6 times a compressor fridge.

Those flat panel heaters are common in New Zealand, less so here. From the number we saw not working in accommodation places we stayed, I guess that despite their simplicity they are quite unreliable. They also use five times the power of a split system for the same heat output. "100% efficient" is nothing to boast about in heating.

Post# 1110819 , Reply# 11   3/10/2021 at 07:19 (997 days old) by kimball455 (Cape May, NJ)        

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Many years ago I lived in Northern Virginia and had a GE heat pump. It managed to balance the heat loss but the discharge are was never anything other than warmish. On cold days, the emergency heat IE the big toaster would kick on and the electric meter went into overdrive. Fast forward to today. I have both hot water baseboard and mini-splits that are heat pump system. There is no resistance backup. Last year when the contractors were still working on the house the heat pump was the source of heat. They did a great job; the discharge air temp hovers about 120. I was surprised because of my previous experience with heat pumps. I do not use the heat pump mini-splits as the primary source of heat, that is the gas-fired hot water from a combi boiler. At any rate, heat pumps have come a long way since the late 1970s. The mini-splits do a great job as AC and give me 4 zones. The heat is 2 zones.


Post# 1110821 , Reply# 12   3/10/2021 at 07:23 (997 days old) by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Baseboard Electric Heat. ????

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Hi Keith, No one in their right mind would use much BBEH in a new home in colder climates, It is far too expensive to operate, it smells of burning dust, heat does not circulate well, heat rises too the ceiling, it is slow to respond to thermostat changes so you can't turn heat back at night and quickly warm up rooms in the morning.


We bought a 1965 Gold Medallion all electric home in 1982 which has electric BBH throughout the home and it is all still there but the 2nd year we had the house my brother Jeff and I built and installed an air source heat-pump and the house is so much more comfortable top to bottom.


I always want to live in a home with great circulation throughout the home, I have great air filters followed with an electrostatic air cleaner that removes the tiniest particles even all smoke, a good power humidifier and of course air conditioning for cooling.


I find homes with non sourced air systems develop odors in different rooms and areas, each bedroom starts to smell like its occupant, each bathroom, basement, laundry room etc,     Thanks but no thanks.


Absorption Refrigeration , I am not even going to address how ridiculous that is, Nearly all new RVs have electric compressor refs today, go try and find an upright or chest freezer that has an absorption cooling system, LOL


John L.

Post# 1110824 , Reply# 13   3/10/2021 at 08:32 (997 days old) by henene4 (Heidenheim a.d. Brenz (Germany))        

As I said in the other thread, basically nothing goes over 40dB in the Aircon/mini split world.
Actually, below 30 is very common.

Most fridges are in the 35-40dB range.

I am all for a quiet environment and especially appliances.

But below 40dB I really have to stop and listen to hear anything.

Post# 1110845 , Reply# 14   3/10/2021 at 12:51 (997 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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Our mini splits have never made any noise. It's uncanny how silent they are. Seeing the fan blowing is pretty much the only way to tell.

Post# 1110860 , Reply# 15   3/10/2021 at 15:51 (997 days old) by bradfordwhite (central U.S.)        

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Was out doing errands today, driving around and it hit me (no, not a loaded semi going 70 with no brakes)


The way to power an absorption refrigeration device on a hot sunny day is with the sun focused using a fresnel lens onto the surface that would normal require heating.   You'd have free cool air from an absorption device when the sun is shining.  And no noise.  

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Post# 1110873 , Reply# 16   3/10/2021 at 18:03 (997 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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Sure is a lot of off topic drivel in this thread.

And of course a new thread won't change the facts. Nor the people that refuse to believe them.

Post# 1110883 , Reply# 17   3/10/2021 at 19:27 (996 days old) by bradfordwhite (central U.S.)        

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"No one in their right mind would use much BBEH in a new home in colder climates, It is far too expensive to operate,"


As has been discussed in a previous thread, that strictly about monthly budgeting or MONEY. And that's fair.

But there is more to our heating source than monthly cost.  Comfort, convenience, and safety are also important.


If electricity rates were reliably reduced with subsidies the way gas is,  people would give it another look rather quickly.


If gas prices went UP (something most people probably are lulled into thinking can't happen) so they were equivalent or more than electric per BTU, and people had confidence the prices would be staying there, they'd be switching over quickly and for that matter, easily.

Even if it were as simple as buying inexpensive portable electric heaters.


And that's a good point. Compare:


if you had a all-electric house in the current price structured environment for gas and electric, HOW MUCH would it cost to bring in  a gas lateral (or propane tank), pipe the house, install a chimney, buy gas appliances, install them,  and connect?  Easily TEN THOUSAND $$ maybe more.  Most likely need a plumber and permits.  Repair the landscaping after trenching a lateral.




Say you wanted to take that same house and install a ground source heat pump.  You'd still be looking at at least $5000 to bring in the special rig, install the loops, buy the the new equipment.  Then there is the maintenance.  


All these costs Do COUNT.



But, if one is "sitting pretty" now with a gas furnace, w. htr, dryer, stove, etc.. and gas prices suddenly became more expensive per therm BTU than electric

it could be relatively cheap to switch over to electric or even solar.  One could literally get on with portable heaters, an electric stove, dryer, and water heater.  If you did it yourself you could spend less than $1000.  Most houses are already sufficiently wired for electric.  But an all electric house has no gas lines.


Gas is an expensive liability.




"It smells of burning dust,"

That's a hygiene issue.   Sorry to tell you.  Either that or you didn't age your electric baseboards before installing them or using them.  Or all of the above.



"heat does not circulate well, heat rises too the ceiling,"

That happens regardless of the type of heat.  Ceiling fans can help if you're so inclined.



"it is slow to respond to thermostat changes so you can't turn heat back at night and quickly warm up rooms in the morning."

Not necessarily.  A well insulated house responds better to all types of heat requests.  Hot water heat and in floor heat sources are VERY SLOW to respond to temp requests.




The facts are as we project forward.  


Electric is going to continue to get cheaper and gas will get more expensive.  Why? 

Because with all the new technology it's making electric relatively FREE with cheap solar panels, and reliable heavy duty batteries.  Add to that electric efficiencies through LED bulbs and reduced electric usage in general in the last ten years.

Plus there is the political push.  Have you seen Tesla?  Have you seen the petroleum industry pushing their investments into solar?  have you seen the big banks and insurance companies demanding divestiture of oil and gas industry and to be invested in solar and green energy.   That's where we are going. 


Petroleum is a declining resource.  There is only a set amount.  It's called peak oil and we've already passed the threshold.  That means prices for what's left will have to go up.  Industry will be able to afford it.  It will be the consumer who will pay higher prices.


Back in 1970, gasoline was about .36 cents a gallon.  Still relatively cheap and modest as it had been for the previous 40-50 years.  People thought cheap gas would last forever.  They had no experience with it being much higher. 


By 1980 gasoline was about $1.19.  This change saw huge technology upheaval with the booting of the gas hog vehicles and what people bought for cars.  Toyota and Honda with their economy cars won people over.  


Its happening again.  


IMO, that heat pump looses it's appeal when you realize how much work it is compared to solar panels.   



Oh man, I wrote a lot John.  We're just chatting.  You're a good guy John, we all know it.  



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Post# 1110896 , Reply# 18   3/10/2021 at 20:30 (996 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor, Maine)        

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In 1995 I put in a New Yorker oil boiler for my baseboard heat and hot water and it is still working flawlessly 26 years later. I have (2) 330 gallon tanks and can buy my oil when prices are down. I have a propane gas Hearthstone in the living area and Empire gas fireplace downstairs in the rec room. So when its cold outside, I'll keep it old school to keep warm. If power goes out, my Generac is on in 10 seconds. I think my energy bills are low.

Post# 1110912 , Reply# 19   3/11/2021 at 00:31 (996 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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Even in my all gas house, the electric bill ONLY last month was $130...most of that was for the heat in my insulated shop which is an electric oil radiator set for 50F just to keep plants from dying.  Gas bill was $35....for a water heater, dryer, range, and furnace set on 73F.  Still a no brainer for me.

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