Heat Pump vs. Electric-Hybrid System
Hello! I am a new homeowner with a 30 year old oil burning furnace. My husband and I are looking to replace the old furnace with a more energy efficient system using either an all electric heat pump or some kind of hybrid between fuel and electricity. We live in the Metro West Boston, Massachusetts area and recognize that we’ll need to better insulate our home in addition to replacing the HVAC at some point in the near future.
I would love to remove oil entirely from our home, if possible. We use an induction stovetop and do not have any gas lines in our town that are available to tap into. Based on a few HVAC technicians that have come to our home, it seems like the possibilities are endless, which is a bit overwhelming.
1) We could keep the old furnace but add an electric heat pump that works for temps above freezing; the issue is that the furnace could still go in the next few years and the furnace seems to do a poor job of blowing hot air through our ductwork already.
2) We buy a new oil furnace and electric heat pump, the new oil furnace would be more efficient, we would use it on below freezing days and it would improve the flow rate through the ducts.
3) We go all electric, using a high efficiency heat pump through our ducted system, and remove our oil tank and furnace entirely. The issue here is that it could get extremely expensive to heat our home in the winter (although we do have some of the lowest electric rates in the state) and the upfront costs are pretty large.
4) We remove the oil tank and oil furnace and put in a hybrid propane/ electric heat pump system. The thinking being that propane is better than oil, at least, even if it’s still a fossil fuel.
Will an all electric system work well for a home in our region of Massachusetts? Or should we be thinking about one of the hybrid options? We unfortunately do need to do quite a bit of insulation work, especially near doors and windows, as well as our unfinished basement. Regardless of the system we use, I know insulation is a must.
Our home is about 30 years old with a post and beam structure. The basement is poured concrete. We have no attic (!) and will also be replacing the roof soon, although our home gets way too much shade to really consider solar an option.
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