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Fri Jul 9, 2021, 04:38 PM

Replacing natural gas heat

I live in Delaware (a Zone 4 state) and have an OLD natural gas heater. My AC appears to be having problems and I was considering replacing it all with an electric heat pump. Supposedly they are more energy efficient during mild weather but become less efficient (b/c they have to run more) if it's very, very cold out. I also have a wood stove that I regularly use--often in place of the heater at all.

Has anyone done this? How has it been? I want to shift away from fossil fuels as much as possible.

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply Replacing natural gas heat (Original post)
Delarage Jul 2021 OP
CurtEastPoint Jul 2021 #1
Delarage Jul 2021 #2
CurtEastPoint Jul 2021 #3
Sinistrous Jul 2021 #4
IbogaProject Jan 2022 #5
Woodwizard Apr 10 #6

Response to Delarage (Original post)

Fri Jul 9, 2021, 04:41 PM

1. I am in GA Zone 7 and a little different perspective...

I have had a heat pump (well, 2) in the last 20 years and absolutely love it. The ONLY time it's not great is when it is sustained low temps like 20-30s. Mine is not dual fuel so the electricity kicks in and it can get pricey but as an example, my electric last month (June) when it was hot AF here in Atlanta, this 3/2 stayed nice and cool at around 72-74 for $125. Also on the plus side, my gas bill runs about 32 per month year round for hot water (tankless), cooking and clothes dryer.

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Response to CurtEastPoint (Reply #1)

Fri Jul 9, 2021, 04:48 PM

2. Thanks

I may roll the dice. Friends here have a heat pump and say it's OK---but they also have a wood stove. I think I'll keep the natural gas for my cooking (until I upgrade to an induction range) and HW (until I get a hybrid electric HW heater). The dryer in this house was never hooked up to gas for some reason, but I usually hang my clothes out anyway (probably 90% of the time). There are only maybe a few weeks here where the temp is EXTREMELY cold for extended periods (like late Jan/early Feb).

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Response to Delarage (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 9, 2021, 04:55 PM

3. Yep, same here... Janu-ugly and Febru-weary.

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Response to Delarage (Original post)

Fri Jul 9, 2021, 05:01 PM

4. Suggest you investigate the high efficiency gas furnaces.

Had one installed a few years ago and I love it. Saved me a bunch of money compared to old furnace. I live in southern Pennsylvania.

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Response to Delarage (Original post)

Sun Jan 2, 2022, 12:03 AM

5. air to air heat exchanger

An air to air heat exchanger is another upgrade you can do. They can preserve 80 or more percent of the current temp while exchanging the air. One trick is you have to match it to the climate zone you're in. There is one for more humid areas, and another for drier areas. Your are is along the boundary of those two.

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Response to Delarage (Original post)

Sun Apr 10, 2022, 09:28 AM

6. I did exactly what you describe.

I put two 12,000 btu mini split systems in last fall I did the install myself they are Pioneer units from Home Depot.

Our primary heat for the house has always been our wood stove with electric baseboard and a propane space heater in the living room for backup when we leave for extended periods.

I have been interested in mini split heat pumps for years and in the last few the efficiency has really improved so here are the results.

I installed a real time watt meter and KWH meter to monitor energy consumption in outside temperatures in the high teens and 20's the units pull about 500 watts each single digits about 900 watts the coldest it got here has been -12F for several mornings the heat pumps were still putting out 100 degree air normal is about that usually 104.

Our total energy consumption since NOV to April 10 is 1,311 KWH about 315.00 dollars in electric here in the Catskills with the electric rate at 23 cents a KWH with all the fees. I figure those numbers would be at least double without the wood stove, still half the cost of propane per btu, Nat gas is unavailable out here in the sticks

But we also have 9KW of solar panels offsetting our electric I am going to be adding an additional 3KW to offset the heat pumps

I will be adding one more mini split I have been very impressed at the performance in subzero temps.

As we get older I would like to cut down on dragging in firewood all the time.

And the other benefit is they do AC a few weeks of the summer here gets hot and humid and the noisy window unit we have will not be needed any more the mini spit is about twice as efficient as the window AC and almost silent.

Highly recommend them.

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