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Community and Q&A

Does a heat pump always make sense?

user-1140283 | Posted in Mechanicals on

We thought to replace a 10 SEER AC unit and a 45-year-old oil furnace with a heat pump. When we look at the potential savings to purchase a 3T unit, it doesn’t add up. In our 2400 sq ft home, we use 450 gallons of oil/year and $400 (worst case) of electricity for the AC. We would need to add a 20kW heater to the heat pump in order to replace the furnace.

Should we just wait until the furnace or AC break?

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Every case is different. If you've done the math, based on your own energy bills and the cost of the proposed new equipment, it's up to you to determine whether you are happy with the likely payback period for the new equipment. In a mild climate, payback periods can be very long -- and depending on how long you intend to stay in your house, it may not make economic sense to swap our your existing equipment for new equipment.

    This is especially true if all of your existing equipment is working fine.

    That said, it sounds like you are using $2,000 worth of oil and electricity a year to heat and cool your house. If you can knock 30% off that bill, you would save $600 a year.

  2. gusfhb | | #2

    You do not say where you are located or if you have gas in the street.

  3. user-1140283 | | #3

    I'm in Indianapolis. There's gas in the street, but it would cost $10k to get it to the house. There's also the question of how to replace the furnace when it fails--that day can't be far away.

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