Upsize my generator or add propane backup?
Rebuilding my home after a loss.
Pole-mounted solar array survived (~14,000kwh/year)
Energy efficient construction/design.
Manual J puts heating load at just under 24k.
Climate zone 5 (but right near the edge of 6).
Sadly, radiant heat is a design requirement.
(We had it in our old house and the rest of the family is reluctant to give it up.)
No access to natural gas.
My hvac supplier is a very talented mechanical engineer with years of experiencing installing solar/gshp/ashp. (and a family friend)
Right now we are leaning towards a water-to-water gshp (with MultiAqua heads for cooling). I looked long and hard at Chilltrix, but I’m not convinced (yet) that it is mature/durable enough. Regardless, I am heating with electricity no matter which way I go.
I live out in the country and it is not uncommon for us to lose power in the winter months. Very rarely is it more than ~4hrs, but…… the freak snow storms do occur. Our previous home was heated with a mix of oil-based radiant (ouch) and a well-placed wood stove. Power outages just meant I had to be diligent about keeping the stove running. No big deal. However, due to the nature of the loss, any wood/coal/pellet stove in the new house is out of the question.
We had a 7.5kw generator (propane) previously that was relatively inexpensive and easy for me to install. It really worked great. My original plan was to simply replace the one I had, but with moving to electricity as our heat source the old generator is insufficient.
Unfortunately, the cost of generators does not seem to scale exactly linearly. Or at the very least, it seems that there is a discontinuity when one jumps from something that is “portable” to something that is marketed as “whole house”.
I’ll almost certainly just upsize the generator, but the price difference did make me flirt with the idea of an inexpensive heat source in parallel with the gshp such as a tankless water heater. I would never drive the buffer tank with such a unit full time, but one or two days a year…….. Anyway, I’m sure there are several reasons why this is a BAD IDEA so I imagine this thread won’t be very long.