All electric house and owner education
I’m thinking of going all electric and replacing my gas hydronic heat with mini splits. I’m in Colorado, zone 5A. The design temp is 0F, but rarely it gets down to -20F (which is a concern if it’s below the minimum temperature for heat pumps). My heat load on a design day is right around 20,000 BTU. An online calculator and calculation based on fuel consumption agree pretty closely.
I think three mini split heads could handle the load, but the kitchen, one bathroom, and one bedroom would be far or isolated from the mini split heads. I could put electric baseboards in those rooms for backup. I might also need more electric baseboards, because if it gets below -13 ~ -15F do the mini splits stop functioning all together? I don’t want to leave the old hydronic system, because at some point it will get too expensive to maintain for backup use, and the connection fee for gas is $16 a month, so I’d rather not pay that.
My concern is, if I put in electric baseboards, how will future owners or tenants know to use the more efficient mini splits rather than the wasteful electric baseboards? Of course I could tell them, but I don’t have high confidence that the information will be passed on to the next next owners (or their tentants if it’s rented out). I don’t want to install a system that’s going to result in more energy usage in the future, even if I’m not the one paying the bills.
Mini splits seem to need a little more thought put into using them than most people put into their heating system. For example, to heat the small bedroom efficiently the door would have to be left open so it gets heat from the mini split in the other room and from downstairs, instead of just turning on the electric baseboard. And the mini splits should be left running all the time instead of using a setback and them having to go to full power to recover. Most people don’t understand or think about things like that.
How do you educate future residents to make sure energy saving systems are used to their full potential?
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