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Heat pump

Started by Bill_Berg_is_sad, November 09, 2022, 07:40:27 PM

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Bill_Berg_is_sad

Anyone got any heat pump advice. My gas bills are nuts in the winter and I'm thinking of getting a heat pump installed.

herman

I'll preface by saying I am not an expert and haven't done anything like this (I'm in a condo with central heating/cooling)

https://www.drhvac.ca/blog/heat-pump-vs-furnace/
This is a pretty easy to read breakdown of the cost-benefits. I think you'll have to find out from an HVAC vendor what will work for your home parameters. Either way, it's only part of the equation: are your windows/doors and other openings sealed well? Is your home suitable for any passive heating/cooling techniques?
"Can't let the poison get to you"
#BeBlessed #scumbag

Bill_Berg_is_sad

Yeah it seems heat pump is the way to go depending on the installation cost really, and that's where I feel like these installation companies can take advantage. Like the previous owner of this house rented the water heater and when I did the math, the rental (which I can't break out of without a significant penalty) will cost me 3 times more than if I bought the heater outright.

As far as the seals go, it's more the house is really old so there's crappy insulation. I installed three new windows in a bay window setting last summer and last winter the floor and wall around those windows were ice cold. It's not the seal, but that four rows of brick isn't the best insulation I guess.

herman

I've been on a sustainable home design kick on YouTube to see what I might want to do if we end up moving.

https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy-efficiency/homes/canada-greener-homes-grant/23441
Canada's Greener Homes Grant should help mitigate some of the upfront costs if you're going with the heat pump.

If your external walls aren't insulating, that would explain your gas bill :( I think mitigating that first by sealing off other heat loss vectors might net you the best bang for your buck. Might not be worth insulating the brick wall in the long run given all the complications.

https://homeefficiencyguide.com/insulating-old-brick-house-walls/
QuotePerhaps most importantly, the energy savings for insulating an old brick home may not pay off in the long run. Doing upgrades, such as fully insulating the attic, air sealing around doors, windows, and other possible air leaks, and replacing an old furnace can bring about the energy savings you desire for much less trouble.
"Can't let the poison get to you"
#BeBlessed #scumbag

Bill_Berg_is_sad

Awesome, I didn't find that grant in my research. Thanks!

Bullfrog

Heat pumps can also use significantly more electricity and require separate runs of ductwork to provide fresh air. That said, given the age and draftiness of your house, fresh air is likely not an issue. With a furnace, that requires ducts to deliver heat, you already have a centralized distribution system should you add an HRV or ERV for ventilation. On the other hand, with a heat pump, you can add smaller ducts (5 inch round) for ventilation air whereas furnace ducts will generally be larger, particularly the branch ductwork.

With heat pumps, you still have to have a way of distributing the heat to the various rooms. So you have to account for that cost too (e.g. "heads").

Hydronic heating with a boiler and radiant baseboard system is another way to go. New high-efficiency boilers can do both heating and domestic water heating (allowing you to get rid of the hot water tank once the lease is up.)

Nowadays, most new equipment is efficient and will work fine. The key is ensuring they're properly sized. That means not only not too small, but also not too big.

An air-source heat pump is not as efficient as a ground-source heat pump. Ground-source is extremely unlikely to be feasible in an urban environment. As mentioned in the article, air-source heat pumps may require supplementary heat on very cold days. (electric baseboard heaters? fireplace? etc.)

Bullfrog

Quote from: herman on November 10, 2022, 10:56:56 AMI've been on a sustainable home design kick on YouTube to see what I might want to do if we end up moving.

Feel free to let me know any questions you have. Energy efficiency is my jam. I qualified as a certified passivehouse designer.

Bill_Berg_is_sad

I had a guy come in today for a quote.  My furnace is 15 years old, so it's a new furnace and the heat pump. Existing duct work seems to be fine, didn't actually come up in conversation. Now I'm wondering between electric furnace or gas, leaning gas though. 

herman

Quote from: Bullfrog on November 10, 2022, 07:20:15 PM
Quote from: herman on November 10, 2022, 10:56:56 AMI've been on a sustainable home design kick on YouTube to see what I might want to do if we end up moving.

Feel free to let me know any questions you have. Energy efficiency is my jam. I qualified as a certified passivehouse designer.

Wow! :D the dream is to find a suitable home to buy and retrofit to near-passive if not certified passive house standards. Except I'm poor and picky lol
"Can't let the poison get to you"
#BeBlessed #scumbag

Bullfrog

I'm actually off of the Passive House train. While I applaud its goals, it's ultimately an arbitrary system like so many others. That's not saying it's bad -- I've designed several houses to Passive House standards -- it's just only one way to achieve sustainable goals.

I'm fully on board the Pretty Good House train now. https://www.prettygoodhouse.org/
You might be interested in BS and Beer; both a podcast and streamed on YouTube. It's pretty nerdy, but if you're into learning about energy-efficient design and technology, it's a good place. Several of them are the authors of Pretty Good House.

Bullfrog

Quote from: Bill_Berg_is_sad on November 10, 2022, 07:46:13 PMI had a guy come in today for a quote.  My furnace is 15 years old, so it's a new furnace and the heat pump. Existing duct work seems to be fine, didn't actually come up in conversation. Now I'm wondering between electric furnace or gas, leaning gas though. 

Sounds great! Ultimately energy is energy. It's mostly an economic decision. Sustainably, they're both not great, depending on how your electricity is produced. Electric is an interesting choice if you have the opportunity to produce renewable energy in the future (solar panels on your roof), but really that energy could go to your regular plugs. Gas is relatively clean burning. The CO2 concerns are pretty minimal if you have a proper installation. The only thing I'd insist on with a gas furnace is a two-pipe system. Meaning, have a dedicated pipe to bring in combustion air to the furnace. It should be a marginal increase in cost (cost to drill an extra hole and some PVC pipe).

herman

Quote from: Bill_Berg_is_sad on November 10, 2022, 07:46:13 PMI had a guy come in today for a quote.  My furnace is 15 years old, so it's a new furnace and the heat pump. Existing duct work seems to be fine, didn't actually come up in conversation. Now I'm wondering between electric furnace or gas, leaning gas though. 

https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/ottawa-announces-250-million-grant-to-help-homeowners-switch-to-heat-pumps-1.6162202
This was just announced today, which is additional to the existing Greener Home grant
"Can't let the poison get to you"
#BeBlessed #scumbag

herman

Quote from: Bullfrog on November 11, 2022, 05:34:21 PMI'm actually off of the Passive House train. While I applaud its goals, it's ultimately an arbitrary system like so many others. That's not saying it's bad -- I've designed several houses to Passive House standards -- it's just only one way to achieve sustainable goals.

I'm fully on board the Pretty Good House train now. https://www.prettygoodhouse.org/
You might be interested in BS and Beer; both a podcast and streamed on YouTube. It's pretty nerdy, but if you're into learning about energy-efficient design and technology, it's a good place. Several of them are the authors of Pretty Good House.

Not to threadjack, but totally to threadjack, do you have any experience with sustainability-focused prefabricated/modular homes in Ontario, Bullfrog?

Because I'm thinking it might be more long-term effective to do a fresh build (throw on the PV+backup system at the same time) on a good location, rather than trying to thread the needle on retrofitting an affordable home that has a close-enough layout.
"Can't let the poison get to you"
#BeBlessed #scumbag

Bill_Berg_is_sad

I ended up renting a heat pump, so no grants for me. It was installed this week. We'll see how it affects my gas bill!

I did sign up for the greener home program, I think that's what it's called. Expecting at some point someone to check my house out for all the places I'm losing heat. There will be many!