Heat Pump Retrofit Options for Pacific Northwest Homes
I’m one of a few hundred thousand homeowners in the Pacific NW (Climate zone 4C) currently getting quotes to add air-conditioning to my house now that prolonged wildfire smoke and heat waves have set in. I’m eager to use this opportunity to switch from gas furnace heating to heat pump heating for carbon’s sake. I haven’t been able to find a recent article on GBA that provides a lay of the land here (inverter vs hyper heat vs not?), and includes major pros/cons of adding a central HP vs minisplits.
My main question is why we can’t get the low price, high efficiency and wide working temperature range of a mini-split system in a central system? Based on the first quotes I’ve received, it seems the domestic suppliers of central HP systems can’t make their heat pumps work below freezing. I thought we solved that problem decades ago. Mitsubishi offers a hyper-heat central system, but it’s twice the price of anything else. So for my two-bedroom 1950 ranch in Eugene, Oregon, which I’d love to make fully electric, I’m contemplating (3) wall hung mini-splits in order to ensure I’m using a high-efficiency heat pump for all my heating, and tossing my 15 year old high-efficiency gas furnace and ductwork.
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