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Old 10-09-2021, 08:55 AM   #1
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Default Heating systems for new home

After learning more about how efficient mini splits are Iím reconsidering them for a new house.

The new house is gonna be on a 4 ft crawl space, due to ledge.

I was leaning towards a forced hot air system with a heat pump (heat and cool)

Probably a direct vented propane stove for back up.

Some proís and conís of each:

The forced hot air system:
would cost a lot more. Probably double or more.
Would turn the 4ft crawl space into a 3ft crawl space for duct work.
Would allow integrated humidifier
Would allow integrated air quality control (fresh air intake)
Not sure how close to a mini split efficiency you can get.

Mini Split:
Super efficient
Probably easier to control ďzonesĒ
No way to humidify with them.
No way to manage fresh air (that I know of)
Kinda ugly wall units.
Ever so slight fan noise.
Need to get plumbing to each head unit.

You have to be careful with tight energy efficient homes these days with indoor air quality. Need to pimp in sone fresh air. I could put an independent system.

The new house will be a post and beam an I would like to manage humidity some in winter to minimize to much beam checking. And health wise. Iíve not had the best luck with central humidifier systems. Assuming they have better stuff these days. Lots of issues with these. Types that make steam are expensive to run. Cool mist type systems are prone to mold.

I also plan to add Solar. And I think we have ruled out geothermal (which is basically a heat pump).

Any thoughts on this topic.
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Old 10-09-2021, 09:13 AM   #2
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I have mini splits in Mass. We love them for their room by room control, efficiency, low maintenance, and quiet. A couple of thoughts based on your post:

Agree they do not look as good, but after you live with them, they tend to disappear.

If you would like fresh air, I recommend an energy return ventilator. This is a separate system that pulls air from outside in an energy-efficient manner.

Do you mean humidifier or dehumidifier? I've never thought of humidifying a home
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Old 10-09-2021, 10:08 AM   #3
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I'm curious why you ruled out geothermal...other than possibly cost. We installed geothermal in our newly built CT home 26 years ago and couldn't be happier with it. A good percent of our system was subsidized by CL&P (now Eversource) credits but I'm guessing such benefits aren't as lucrative these days as they once were.
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Old 10-09-2021, 01:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by FlyingScot View Post
I have mini splits in Mass. We love them for their room by room control, efficiency, low maintenance, and quiet. A couple of thoughts based on your post:

Agree they do not look as good, but after you live with them, they tend to disappear.

If you would like fresh air, I recommend an energy return ventilator. This is a separate system that pulls air from outside in an energy-efficient manner.

Do you mean humidifier or dehumidifier? I've never thought of humidifying a home
Humidifier. Beam checking occurs when the wood dries out... generally during low humidity winter. Farmers used to keep a kettle on the wood stove, and a kettle of soup simmering.
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Old 10-09-2021, 01:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mswlogo View Post
After learning more about how efficient mini splits are Iím reconsidering them for a new house.

The new house is gonna be on a 4 ft crawl space, due to ledge.

I was leaning towards a forced hot air system with a heat pump (heat and cool)

Probably a direct vented propane stove for back up.

Some proís and conís of each:

The forced hot air system:
would cost a lot more. Probably double or more.
Would turn the 4ft crawl space into a 3ft crawl space for duct work.
Would allow integrated humidifier
Would allow integrated air quality control (fresh air intake)
Not sure how close to a mini split efficiency you can get.

Mini Split:
Super efficient
Probably easier to control ďzonesĒ
No way to humidify with them.
No way to manage fresh air (that I know of)
Kinda ugly wall units.
Ever so slight fan noise.
Need to get plumbing to each head unit.

You have to be careful with tight energy efficient homes these days with indoor air quality. Need to pimp in sone fresh air. I could put an independent system.

The new house will be a post and beam an I would like to manage humidity some in winter to minimize to much beam checking. And health wise. Iíve not had the best luck with central humidifier systems. Assuming they have better stuff these days. Lots of issues with these. Types that make steam are expensive to run. Cool mist type systems are prone to mold.

I also plan to add Solar. And I think we have ruled out geothermal (which is basically a heat pump).

Any thoughts on this topic.

mini splits ARE NOT super efficent in the winter. if you get the Mitsubishi with the hyper heat they are not "super efficent in the winter" and they should not be considered your primary heat source. we do alot of remodeling.
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Old 10-09-2021, 02:25 PM   #6
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mini splits ARE NOT super efficent in the winter. if you get the Mitsubishi with the hyper heat they are not "super efficent in the winter" and they should not be considered your primary heat source. we do alot of remodeling.
Have not heard "not super efficient" before. Our mini splits are virtually our only hear source in Mass, and they've done extremely well even on extremely cold days, like 5 or 10 below in the record cold of 2-3 years ago. Super cheap to run too--comparisons are tricky, but I think less than half the cost of oil.

We have Mitsubishi, I don't think our model has "hyper heat"
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Old 10-09-2021, 05:43 PM   #7
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My son-in-law installs Mitsubishi mini splits for a large company in northeastern MA. He is constantly advising people that they should not rely on the mini split as their only heat source, even the hyper heat units. Regarding efficiency - as it gets colder the efficiency drops.


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Old 10-09-2021, 05:55 PM   #8
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Iíd go with the forced hot air all day long and run the ac thru that. If u do the mini splits up here you definitely need the hyper heat heat. Cost wise Iím not sold on them and I donít like the look of them.
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Old 10-10-2021, 05:38 AM   #9
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I have central air with a forced air system and have been in homes with mini-splits. My home's temps are consistentó Ī.5į óbut those with mini-splits I've been around tend to have cool areas, especially when working and anywhere near seating, etc.

I also much prefer the simplicity of one return filter, one unit, one set of controls, etc.

That being said, I don't love forced air heatóI much prefer baseboard or forced hot water for its evennessóbut both systems would be air, so I'd still choose the central system.

I've not looked in a while, but I've gotta think the new heat pump furnaces are super efficient?

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Old 10-10-2021, 05:54 AM   #10
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Default Condensing furnace

The mini-splits are great in the summer. Highly recommended for cooling and mild weather heating but as stated above, not efficient for cold weather.

As for winter use, a condensing furnace is your best bet if you plan on forced air. I personally prefer radiant heating. I also prefer the ones with on-demand hot water for even more efficiency!
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Old 10-10-2021, 08:59 AM   #11
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Default Mitsubishi Hyper Heat

We built a small house last year with a 3-ton Mitsubishi Hyper Heat Pump and ducted air handler that provides heat and AC. There is a backup resistive heat strip that turns on below 5 degrees. The ducts provide air to every room. It works very well for us. The new house is very well insulated, and itís important to do a good job insulating the duct work. We arenít at the house much in the winter, and the highest electric bill was less than $200.
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Old 10-10-2021, 09:01 AM   #12
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Default Heating system for new home

With the exception of a wood-burning stove, just about all other forms of heating systems rely on electricity, and to that end, I would suggest that you include a whole-house generator in your heating plans. At the time of original construction the cost of including a whole-house generator is reasonable. If you wait, and do it as an after-construction addition, the cost will be much more.

A whole-house generator should also be considered if you are on your own well and on your own septic system.
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Old 10-10-2021, 09:13 AM   #13
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Still not sure what folks mean by not efficient in cold weather. My mini splits are super low cost to operate in total, and I'm always warm. Since I'm warm every day, and paying low monthly bills, I'm not sure why I should care if they are less efficient on some days?
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Old 10-10-2021, 09:34 AM   #14
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For a new house, your first thought should be to make it superinsulated and very tight. The cost to do this is relatively little extra, and the savings in heating/cooling costs pays for the extra cost in little time. The size of the heating/cooling system will be substantially smaller, with corresponding less cost. The house will be much more comfortable in all seasons, without cold spots.

When the air inside a home is so dry in winter that humidification is wanted, the reason is almost always far too much air leakage. Human occupancy produces moisture, and excessive air leakage flushes out that moisture, resulting in dryness. Excessive air leakage is something that costs money, makes the house more uncomfortable, and cannot be controlled. The old adage "the house should be tight, but not too tight - the house has to breathe" is woefully wrong. The occupants have to breathe, while the house has to avoid moisture accumulation problems. The only way to achieve the best result is to make the house as tight as possible and provide mechanical ventilation, so that the right amount of fresh air is provided all the time. In this climate (heating-dominated), efficiency is gained by heating the incoming fresh air with exhaust air, through a heat exchanger. The device is a heat recovery ventilator (HRV).

The thought of active humidification in winter for a house that isn't very tight should make you stop and think some more. Where is all that moisture going? If it is leaking out through the walls and into the attic space, you may wind up with condensation on cold surfaces where you don't want it, leading to rot and mold.

While geothermal heat is an option that functions well, with high coefficient of performance, the cost usually is substantially higher than for other types. However, if a new well is to be drilled for the house anyway, then the incremental cost of geothermal for a low-demand house can be more attractive.

Today's cold-climate air-source heat pumps have come a long way toward providing a good choice for heating and cooling. They can realistically provide all the heat needed down to below zero, particularly for a very well insulated house. To be sure, the energy needed to "pump" heat up from below zero air temperature to indoor temperature is greater than when the outside air is milder, so that the coefficient of performance drops accordingly. If you feel that you want supplemental heat for extreme conditions, then electric resistance heat is your best bet for the few hours each heating season when you may need it, being low cost to install.

The building science behind all of the above is well-established and easily found on sites such as greenbuildingadvisor.com and buildingscience.com.
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Old 10-10-2021, 10:12 AM   #15
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Still not sure what folks mean by not efficient in cold weather. My mini splits are super low cost to operate in total, and I'm always warm. Since I'm warm every day, and paying low monthly bills, I'm not sure why I should care if they are less efficient on some days?

I think they mean they are using data from multiple scenarios gathered over time, where you are apparently using only your own singular experience as a data point.
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Old 10-10-2021, 10:28 AM   #16
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One more positive vote for a mini spilt. No issues at all heating last winter. We do have wood and propane as a backup. Also, mini spilts space a tremendous amount of space if the home doesnít have a basement and the cost must be less the half of what a forced hot water or air system is



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Old 10-10-2021, 12:34 PM   #17
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Default Heat Pump & Cold Temps

When people use the term "efficient" for heat pumps, I think they are referring to the lowest temperature at which the heat pump will produce heat. Older technology started to lose efficiency (produce less heat) close to 32 degrees, so you needed another source of heat. Newer technology that is specifically rated for temperatures down to (or below) 0 degrees will continue to provide heat down to those colder temperatures without much additional electricity usage. Most manufacturers show a graph of efficiency vs temperature.
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Old 10-10-2021, 01:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mswlogo View Post
After learning more about how efficient mini splits are Iím reconsidering them for a new house.

The new house is gonna be on a 4 ft crawl space, due to ledge.

I was leaning towards a forced hot air system with a heat pump (heat and cool)

Probably a direct vented propane stove for back up.

Some proís and conís of each:

The forced hot air system:
would cost a lot more. Probably double or more.
Would turn the 4ft crawl space into a 3ft crawl space for duct work.
Would allow integrated humidifier
Would allow integrated air quality control (fresh air intake)
Not sure how close to a mini split efficiency you can get.

Mini Split:
Super efficient
Probably easier to control ďzonesĒ
No way to humidify with them.
No way to manage fresh air (that I know of)
Kinda ugly wall units.
Ever so slight fan noise.
Need to get plumbing to each head unit.

You have to be careful with tight energy efficient homes these days with indoor air quality. Need to pimp in sone fresh air. I could put an independent system.

The new house will be a post and beam an I would like to manage humidity some in winter to minimize to much beam checking. And health wise. Iíve not had the best luck with central humidifier systems. Assuming they have better stuff these days. Lots of issues with these. Types that make steam are expensive to run. Cool mist type systems are prone to mold.

I also plan to add Solar. And I think we have ruled out geothermal (which is basically a heat pump).

Any thoughts on this topic.
For the solar... PV or thermal?

I think how that may be integrated may affect some of the others' responses.

Also if you need/intend to go with a whole house generator that would equate to a fuel source and may help them suggest other options for the best integration of choices.
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Old 10-10-2021, 03:30 PM   #19
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Default Heaing systems for a new home

I was the poster who mentioned the generator, and you are correct about a generator equating to a fuel source. Propane is a very popular generator fuel, and my thinking is that if a house has a generator, and the fuel is propane, then I would have that be a stand alone system, not providing fuel to any other system in the house. Most fuel providers offer automatic fill programs, some with pre-buy options, some not, but in order to accurately calculate the automatic fill delivery cycle, there has to be a reasonably consistent usage curve based on house size, season, weather (temperature), and family dynamic. Since it is not really possible to calculate usage for a generator , and since you certainly do not want to run out of fuel for your generator, I would keep the generator on its own system, not associated with the main propane supply for household use. Maybe somebody who has a generator for standby purposes and also uses propane for household purposes can comment on this situation.
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Old 10-10-2021, 04:05 PM   #20
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It could be attached to a separate tank... but you would still have a supplier; and possibly get some discount pricing for the extra.

The mini-splits as far as I can tell do not supply domestic hot water... so it is a matter of how many different systems to install.

A thermal solar sized to produce just enough domestic hot water in the summer would more likely need a back-up in the winter.
One sized to produce more than enough in the winter will have too much capacity in the summer.

Just so many factors for everyone to think about with additional capital costs, suppliers, and such.
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Old 10-11-2021, 11:49 AM   #21
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They have also come out with Floor Units for MiniSplits now in case you haven't seen those. Many don't like the look of the unit up on the wall, so this is another possible option depending on your room and layout.

https://www.mitsubishicomfort.com/re...modelID=MFZ-KJ
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Old 10-11-2021, 06:16 PM   #22
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For the solar... PV or thermal?

I think how that may be integrated may affect some of the others' responses.

Also if you need/intend to go with a whole house generator that would equate to a fuel source and may help them suggest other options for the best integration of choices.
PV.

I plan to have a portable generator that includes 240V with Neutral (mainly for the well). 6kW should be plenty. I will have conduits installed to allow possibly a larger backup system down the line. I would like 240V, Dual Fuel, Inverter and Electric start. The only one I can find that does all that is 10kW (bigger than I'd like, but will go with that if nothing new pops up). More and more Dual Fuel/Inverters are popping up. Most dual fuel portable inverters don't have the 240V. I wouldn't try to run the Heat pumps with a small unit. I'd use the backup propane stove for heat. We've been in the lakes region for 35 years, we do go up in winter and could have used a backup generator once for one night. Just need water and fridge.

I have a portable Dual Fuel Inverter in MA. We have natural gas for heat and no Well and I get by with 3.5kW fine.
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Old 10-11-2021, 06:33 PM   #23
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I was the poster who mentioned the generator, and you are correct about a generator equating to a fuel source. Propane is a very popular generator fuel, and my thinking is that if a house has a generator, and the fuel is propane, then I would have that be a stand alone system, not providing fuel to any other system in the house. Most fuel providers offer automatic fill programs, some with pre-buy options, some not, but in order to accurately calculate the automatic fill delivery cycle, there has to be a reasonably consistent usage curve based on house size, season, weather (temperature), and family dynamic. Since it is not really possible to calculate usage for a generator , and since you certainly do not want to run out of fuel for your generator, I would keep the generator on its own system, not associated with the main propane supply for household use. Maybe somebody who has a generator for standby purposes and also uses propane for household purposes can comment on this situation.
Originally I was planning on a propane Forced Hot Air or Forced Hot Water system. But after learning how crazy efficient Heatpumps are now, and that they can be powered by PV Solar (Net Metering) I've changed my tune. We have Ultra Efficient Natural Gas forced hot air Heat (and cool) and Tankless Natural gas Hot water in MA and it works great. But we have natural gas, which is really cheap. Propane by the tank is expensive, but I believe I will have some sort of propane tank no matter what we choose. Mainly for backup Heat, Generator and maybe hot water. A plain Jane electric hot water tank might be our best bet if we have PV Solar. I'm not 100% sure PV is gonna work out. Have to see what things look like after some trees come down.

EDIT: Just reread your post camp guy. I'm not sure it's worth doing a separate tank for generator. Just size things for other uses with a little more safety margin.

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Old 01-30-2022, 03:46 PM   #24
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Still can't decide on heating system. Tried to get one Geothermal place to show up and they just disappeared. Now trying two more. Gonna cost a fortune for geothermal though, not sure it's worth it.

Fire department did training exercises at the old cabin this morning, then burned it to the ground. I have insane pictures and videos, but not sure I feel comfortable posting them. My heart stops every time I look at them. It was a real eye opener seeing your home burn down. They drilled and pumped water from the lake. Make sure you do EVERYTHING possible for fire prevention.

First photo is a sketch of what we are building.
Second is a similar home using the colors we chose for siding and windows, and I morphed it onto a picture of our property to see how it will look.
Third is what it will look like inside.





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Old 01-30-2022, 03:56 PM   #25
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Magnificent exterior design and excellent color choice.
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Old 01-30-2022, 03:58 PM   #26
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Great house! Gorgeous but not flashy, and I'm guessing from the photo you'll be able to integrate it well with the land. Are you going to be able to keep the young trees right next to the house, or is that a vestige of the other property?
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Old 01-30-2022, 04:20 PM   #27
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Great house! Gorgeous but not flashy, and I'm guessing from the photo you'll be able to integrate it well with the land. Are you going to be able to keep the young trees right next to the house, or is that a vestige of the other property?
Those young trees are actually from the house photo I cut from. We actually had some similar trees in and around the old house, but they have to come down for construction. The property is LOADED with trees. 450 ft of frontage, mostly untouched. Can always put a few trees back, but I don't care for trees to close to the house that can later be towering monsters. They just cause too many problems and not safe.

There will be quite a disturbance in and around the house for construction. Most likely will need blasting. I was talking to our landscaper about restoring the natural landscape. He said he gets lots of requests like that around the lakes and he said it's VERY hard.

I love the yard because it's zero maintenance. Even the leaves just magically get blown out and leave the pine needles. He suggested not bothering to do any landscaping for at least a year and he'd research more how to get that natural landscape back. I love not having to cut a lawn or use any chemicals to maintain a lawn.
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Old 01-30-2022, 11:25 PM   #28
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Not long after I commented in post #3 above, our 25-year old geothermal unit in CT went kablooie. We had it replaced with a brand new unit in November. I was assuming the types of incentives we took advantage of when we had it installed 26 years ago might no longer be available. But I was wrong. Some are anyway.

We replaced the basement unit with a new 5-ton Hydron Module Revolution 2. New filter box/MERV 13 upgrade, connection to our existing AO Smith hybrid pre-heat water tank, and a new Honeywell thermostat that allows control from our smart phones (though I haven't downloaded the app yet).

$15K to our contractor. We've since received a $4,025 rebate from Eversource and a 26% federal tax credit that we'll take advantage of this tax season (if you can't use it all, you use the rest in future years). This nearly cut our cost in half.

Of course, all I needed to do this time was replace the failed unit. No ductwork, no fresh air controls, no drilling a well (which I'm guessing you'd opt for given all your ledge), no connection to the interior unit. My point however is to not overlook the incentives that might be available.

I've said before on this forum, if geo is available, we'd never go with anything else. Such a comfortable heat source, eco-friendly, safe (no fossil fuels), quiet, very low maintenance and it's saving us lots of money in heating (and cooling but we seldom use that since we're usually at the lake in the summer).

Good luck and the house looks beautiful.
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Old 01-31-2022, 07:02 AM   #29
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I would go with mini splits, solar , and Rinnai wall units.
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Old 01-31-2022, 10:50 AM   #30
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Not long after I commented in post #3 above, our 25-year old geothermal unit in CT went kablooie. We had it replaced with a brand new unit in November. I was assuming the types of incentives we took advantage of when we had it installed 26 years ago might no longer be available. But I was wrong. Some are anyway.

We replaced the basement unit with a new 5-ton Hydron Module Revolution 2. New filter box/MERV 13 upgrade, connection to our existing AO Smith hybrid pre-heat water tank, and a new Honeywell thermostat that allows control from our smart phones (though I haven't downloaded the app yet).

$15K to our contractor. We've since received a $4,025 rebate from Eversource and a 26% federal tax credit that we'll take advantage of this tax season (if you can't use it all, you use the rest in future years). This nearly cut our cost in half.

Of course, all I needed to do this time was replace the failed unit. No ductwork, no fresh air controls, no drilling a well (which I'm guessing you'd opt for given all your ledge), no connection to the interior unit. My point however is to not overlook the incentives that might be available.

I've said before on this forum, if geo is available, we'd never go with anything else. Such a comfortable heat source, eco-friendly, safe (no fossil fuels), quiet, very low maintenance and it's saving us lots of money in heating (and cooling but we seldom use that since we're usually at the lake in the summer).

Good luck and the house looks beautiful.
Thanks for the honest follow up.

There are incentives on mini splits and other high efficiency systems.
We took full advantage of incentives in MA on our Solar and heating system.
Break even on Solar was approx 6.5 years.

Current estimate on Geothermal is $40-$45K before incentives.
Any complete system isnít cheap. I have not got an estimate on mini split yet. But with that and hot water etc. Iím guessing it would probably be $20K plus incentives.
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Old 01-31-2022, 11:06 AM   #31
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I would go with mini splits, solar , and Rinnai wall units.
We plan to put Solar in regardless of which heating we go with. If itís feasible. We have a LOT of tall trees around the house. A few are coming down for construction. We will see how it looks once those are down. I think before trees were down not quite enough sun was getting in. Now with a few down it looks promising. But a couple more are coming down, now that house is out of the way. Roof angles for panels will be tricky too.

I know about the Solar shingles, which as far as Iíve researched are just not practical yet. Prices are staggering. Probably over $100K at least for Tesla installs. And youíd probably have to wait a year or two to get installed.

What Rinnai wall unit you referring to? For hot water?

If youíll notice we didnít put a fire place / chimney. But we were thinking of a vented propane stove. But after seeing old house burn to a crisp we are having 2nd thoughts of any propane. It really really hit us both. Maybe eventually Iíll be brave enough to post some photos, unless itís your own it Matt not impact you like it did us. Never expected to feel like this. When you see smoke billowing out of the bedroom you slept in itís scary. Even though it was all planned. But you can see what can happen. In just 1 year we were sentimentally attached. Thatís just how we are.
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Old 01-31-2022, 01:16 PM   #32
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Default Noisy heatpumps

Non-resident neighbors on both sides of me added heat pumps in the past year. The quiet neighborhood is no more. The outdoor units are noisy and the compressor and fan noise carry in the still cold winter air. They rarely stop, especially when it is cold. On some nights, I can even hear one of them while in bed. Seems wrong that an unoccupied house should make so much noise.
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Old 01-31-2022, 02:35 PM   #33
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Non-resident neighbors on both sides of me added heat pumps in the past year. The quiet neighborhood is no more. The outdoor units are noisy and the compressor and fan noise carry in the still cold winter air. They rarely stop, especially when it is cold. On some nights, I can even hear one of them while in bed. Seems wrong that an unoccupied house should make so much noise.
That's a good point, what brand are they.
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Old 01-31-2022, 03:36 PM   #34
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Not long after I commented in post #3 above, our 25-year old geothermal unit in CT went kablooie. We had it replaced with a brand new unit in November. I was assuming the types of incentives we took advantage of when we had it installed 26 years ago might no longer be available. But I was wrong. Some are anyway.

We replaced the basement unit with a new 5-ton Hydron Module Revolution 2. New filter box/MERV 13 upgrade, connection to our existing AO Smith hybrid pre-heat water tank, and a new Honeywell thermostat that allows control from our smart phones (though I haven't downloaded the app yet).

$15K to our contractor. We've since received a $4,025 rebate from Eversource and a 26% federal tax credit that we'll take advantage of this tax season (if you can't use it all, you use the rest in future years). This nearly cut our cost in half.

Of course, all I needed to do this time was replace the failed unit. No ductwork, no fresh air controls, no drilling a well (which I'm guessing you'd opt for given all your ledge), no connection to the interior unit. My point however is to not overlook the incentives that might be available.

I've said before on this forum, if geo is available, we'd never go with anything else. Such a comfortable heat source, eco-friendly, safe (no fossil fuels), quiet, very low maintenance and it's saving us lots of money in heating (and cooling but we seldom use that since we're usually at the lake in the summer).

Good luck and the house looks beautiful.
Very interesting--do you know what the payback period is for an all new geothermal system, including all the incentives? As msw notes, solar is about 6 years, I'm wondering how geothermal compares.
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Old 01-31-2022, 09:43 PM   #35
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Very interesting--do you know what the payback period is for an all new geothermal system, including all the incentives? As msw notes, solar is about 6 years, I'm wondering how geothermal compares.
It depends what you are comparing too. See this link on costs to operate different systems.

https://www.efficiencymaine.com/at-h...st-comparison/

Install guesstimates

Oil Burner $15K
Geothermal $40K
MiniSplit $15K

So going from say an existing Oil Burner (which is "free") to Geothermal

Oil Burner $2588 per heating season.
Geothermal $1643 per Heating season.

You save $945 a heating system.

So it would take ~40 years.

Going from existing Oil Burner to a Mini Split

Mini Split $1795 per heating season
Oil Burner $2588 per heating season.

You save $793 per year.

So it would take 19 years.

But you also get cooling !!!

Let's say you had a MiniSplit and wanted to go Geothermal

Mini Split $1795 per heating season
Geothermal $1643 per Heating season.

You save $152 per year

It would take 265 years to break even

In my case I don't have an existing system (or your old system is shot)

So we need to compare the difference in price divided by the savings

Difference between Geothermal and MiniSplit is still $25K and the savings is still $152 per year (for heating). Let's double that because that was just for heating and we want cooling out of both systems.

It will still take 83 years.

You can argue all you want on my estimates. But Geothermal is super expensive and the difference in savings is really small comparing to a mini split.

You pretty much have to ignore ROI for Geothermal and just decide if the aesthetics are worth it over a mini split. Because Mini Split wins bye a mile no matter how you slice it, money wise.

You are also better off putting that $25K increase in Geothermal over a Mini Split into a Solar system (which will run either system for free) And you only need to make the Solar System 8% larger (~$2000) to cover for the less efficient Mini Split.

I didn't include the incentives but most of the incentives apply equally to MiniSplits as well because they are nearly as efficient as Geothermal.
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Old 01-31-2022, 10:27 PM   #36
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$2600 in oil just for heat?
What are they estimating the price of oil at?
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Old 01-31-2022, 10:28 PM   #37
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Very interesting--do you know what the payback period is for an all new geothermal system, including all the incentives? As msw notes, solar is about 6 years, I'm wondering how geothermal compares.

I don't know Flying. We did that analysis 26 years ago when the incentives were great for a new build install. I don't recall for sure what the payback scenario was at the time but I believe it was in the 7 - 8 year range.

The geo units are much improved now too. Last night the temp got down to 5 below F and the house was a comfortable 66 degrees (what we had the stat set at) with no need for the electric back-up (I have those circuits turned off at the panel). Our older unit would have required the back-up at about 5 degrees above. Our electric bills last year were about $425 per month in January & February (4,000 SF very tight home) which, of course, includes lighting, hot water boost and appliances. That was with the older unit. Our January bill this month is $307 with the new unit and higher electric rates due to the gas supply woes in the northeast. We keep the temp at 66 night/69 day and there are only two of us in the home.
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Old 01-31-2022, 10:34 PM   #38
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Why would the geo be affected by ambient air temperature?
Is it not sized large enough to meet the BTU requirements of the space?
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Old 01-31-2022, 11:16 PM   #39
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$2600 in oil just for heat?
What are they estimating the price of oil at?
Look at the link. $3.10 / gallon you can set prices of fuel to what every you want.

But you make a good point, they used $0.22 / kWh for electricity so that's a bit higher than most of NH so Geothermal and MiniSplit would be even that much cheaper to run. I don't know the going price of oil, but that sounds close. No idea what they are using for a size house. But it's just for rough estimates and comparison shopping.

Bottom line, oil will cost about double Geothermal or MiniSplit. And Geothermal will cost about double to install over Mini Split or Oil.
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Old 01-31-2022, 11:23 PM   #40
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House size really not something that would factor in as the estimate would be for the same available BTU.
It may factor in on the number of units necessary to achieve a comfortable temp in various areas of the home... but that would be an on-site assessment variable to each.

I can prebuy oil, but not electricity. $2.899 is what I'm at.
But what I noticed was a friend using the same system but choosing to heat with wood only save about 100 gallons... maybe 150 this year due to the longer duration of the cold spell.

The rest of what we used was for heating water and standby when the water was to be heated but not used.

My home may be better insulated than his... but the heated space is about the same along with the number of occupants.
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Old 02-01-2022, 12:00 AM   #41
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I don't know Flying. We did that analysis 26 years ago when the incentives were great for a new build install. I don't recall for sure what the payback scenario was at the time but I believe it was in the 7 - 8 year range.

The geo units are much improved now too. Last night the temp got down to 5 below F and the house was a comfortable 66 degrees (what we had the stat set at) with no need for the electric back-up (I have those circuits turned off at the panel). Our older unit would have required the back-up at about 5 degrees above. Our electric bills last year were about $425 per month in January & February (4,000 SF very tight home) which, of course, includes lighting, hot water boost and appliances. That was with the older unit. Our January bill this month is $307 with the new unit and higher electric rates due to the gas supply woes in the northeast. We keep the temp at 66 night/69 day and there are only two of us in the home.
$425 a month yikes. Even $307 seems high. You should seriously look at Solar.

Geothermal does not need any back up heat source. Unless, like John mentioned it is not sized large enough. 4000 Sq ft is pretty big. That might make practical sense in that sizing a GeoThermal for peak load (say -10F or lower) for 4000 sq ft would cost so much vs a simple electrical backup that on kicks in 1-2 weeks a year, if at all.

It's the same idea as Mini Splits with a backup. They might only be more efficient down to say 0F. But you can run them less efficient at even lower temps or switch to alternate heat just for those few weeks. But overall they still save a lot.

I assume the Geothermal keeps running at these low temps, you just need a little boost.

We keep our thermostat at 70F in winter (we are both wimps) and 78F in the summer (if AC is on). But it cost us peanuts for heating fuel, house is 2000 sq ft. Natural gas was $765 for all of 2021 (that includes all appliances). It is a new 96% efficient forced hot air system.
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Old 02-01-2022, 12:07 AM   #42
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Why would the geo be affected by ambient air temperature?
Is it not sized large enough to meet the BTU requirements of the space?
A 5 ton unit is sized appropriately for our home except perhaps on a rare night when the temp gets down to - maybe 10 below??? As that almost never happens in SE CT, weíd be throwing money away if we bought any larger unit. More cost effective to just use the electric for those few hours of unusually cold temps. Not sure I answered the question but Iím not an HVAC engineer.
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Old 02-01-2022, 12:15 AM   #43
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You did.
They sized it for a nominal.

I would think the efficiency improvement might come from some improved insulation or a back-up that runs on that rare occasion.


I notice mine kick lower than my friend's when I went to R60 in the attic, and triple pane windows. I have a couple more items that I can do... but not sure the savings when the amount used for heating is as low as I have.
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Old 02-01-2022, 06:28 PM   #44
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Referring back to my earlier post (#14) on this thread, to give you an idea of the impact of making the house in the "superinsulated" class, consider what we have. The gross conditioned space is about 4,000 sqft (two levels on a 2K footprint). The heating system is a 2-ton geo unit, and even when it dips below zero (like last week when it was -8F one morning), the thing is keeping the house at 70 F in just first stage, putting out about 75% of capacity.

Back in 2011, the area distributor for Climatemaster and two of their "approved installers" all proposed putting in a 5-ton unit, even though I gave them the spreadsheet showing that a 2-ton unit would suffice. I doubt they had any experience in sizing a unit for a house like this one, so they just used canned software and assumptions as to what the house was like, many of which were wrong. The only set of operating data I have that seems useful is for a period of several days when the temperature swung just a few degrees either side of zero. Apparently my calculations were a bit conservative by over 10%, which I am told is typical for such a house.

In the case of geo heat (or minisplits), the cost of the unit does depend strongly on its capacity, so proper sizing based on a really good heat loss calculation, not shortcuts, is essential. For a fired heat source, the unit installed typically is grossly oversized, even for a house built just "to code."

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Old 02-01-2022, 08:25 PM   #45
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Referring back to my earlier post (#14) on this thread, to give you an idea of the impact of making the house in the "superinsulated" class, consider what we have. The gross conditioned space is about 4,000 sqft (two levels on a 2K footprint). The heating system is a 2-ton geo unit, and even when it dips below zero (like last week when it was -8F one morning), the thing is keeping the house at 70 F in just first stage, putting out about 75% of capacity.

Back in 2011, the area distributor for Climatemaster and two of their "approved installers" all proposed putting in a 5-ton unit, even though I gave them the spreadsheet showing that a 2-ton unit would suffice. I doubt they had any experience in sizing a unit for a house like this one, so they just used canned software and assumptions as to what the house was like, many of which were wrong. The only set of operating data I have that seems useful is for a period of several days when the temperature swung just a few degrees either side of zero. Apparently my calculations were a bit conservative by over 10%, which I am told is typical for such a house.

In the case of geo heat (or minisplits), the cost of the unit does depend strongly on its capacity, so proper sizing based on a really good heat loss calculation, not shortcuts, is essential. For a fired heat source, the unit installed typically is grossly oversized, even for a house built just "to code."
Just got my first Geothermal estimate. $47K !!!

4 Ton for 2300 sq ft well insulated (2x6 construction dense foam).

My guess is a 2 or 3 ton would work and let the backup kick in when needed.
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Old 02-02-2022, 07:18 AM   #46
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We plan to put Solar in regardless of which heating we go with. If it’s feasible. We have a LOT of tall trees around the house. A few are coming down for construction. We will see how it looks once those are down. I think before trees were down not quite enough sun was getting in. Now with a few down it looks promising. But a couple more are coming down, now that house is out of the way. Roof angles for panels will be tricky too.

I know about the Solar shingles, which as far as I’ve researched are just not practical yet. Prices are staggering. Probably over $100K at least for Tesla installs. And you’d probably have to wait a year or two to get installed.

What Rinnai wall unit you referring to? For hot water?

If you’ll notice we didn’t put a fire place / chimney. But we were thinking of a vented propane stove. But after seeing old house burn to a crisp we are having 2nd thoughts of any propane. It really really hit us both. Maybe eventually I’ll be brave enough to post some photos, unless it’s your own it Matt not impact you like it did us. Never expected to feel like this. When you see smoke billowing out of the bedroom you slept in it’s scary. Even though it was all planned. But you can see what can happen. In just 1 year we were sentimentally attached. That’s just how we are.
Not hot water... I'd never put one of those in. They're very susceptible to high mineralized water and require expensive maintenance. If I could do solar my HW would be electric. These are the Rinnai units I mentioned. I've installed many of these and they are great. https://www.rinnai.us/residential/direct-vent-furnaces If you can go with solar you'll have it made. By the way propane is very safe. I worked with it for years and the only issues I ever saw were ones where someone did something stupid. Geothermal would be the last thing I'd recommend... it's extremely expensive, but it does sound great in a perfect world.
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Old 02-02-2022, 03:55 PM   #47
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Non-resident neighbors on both sides of me added heat pumps in the past year. The quiet neighborhood is no more. The outdoor units are noisy and the compressor and fan noise carry in the still cold winter air. They rarely stop, especially when it is cold. On some nights, I can even hear one of them while in bed. Seems wrong that an unoccupied house should make so much noise.
That noise problem has got to be a function of the brand. My new(ish) home has (2) 5-ton Mitsubishi heat pumps, that serve a total of 10 concealed air handler zones in the house. You can't even hear them unless you are 10 or 15 feet away. Even then, they are remarkably quiet.

I'm not 100% happy with the system, but it works, and isn't noisy.
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Old 02-02-2022, 04:07 PM   #48
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That noise problem has got to be a function of the brand. My new(ish) home has (2) 5-ton Mitsubishi heat pumps, that serve a total of 10 concealed air handler zones in the house. You can't even here them unless you are 10 or 15 feet away. Even then, they are remarkably quiet.

I'm not 100% happy with the system, but it works, and isn't noisy.
You're right about mini splits. They are very quiet. My guess is the neighbor has a standard heat pump with a conventional compressor. What don't you like about your system? My guess is the individual air handlers? I was never a big fan of those systems and always thought the individual wall or floor units did a better job.
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Old 02-02-2022, 04:51 PM   #49
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What don't you like about your system? My guess is the individual air handlers?
I'm pretty familiar with commercial HVAC systems, and my explanation would probably go beyond the level of detail warranted for this forum, but here are some tidbits:

What I "don't " like:

1. My system is a Mitsubishi "M" series system, that allows for up to 5 zones per compressor. In theory, this gives you lots of individual control in each room. However, each outdoor compressor really needs to be in either heating, or cooling, at any given time. That sounds fine, bust most people don't understand that nuance, so my guests (and spouse) are continually trying to change the system over to one mode or another. This creates issues with the system controllers, and we invariably get system errors. Ultimately, I had to resort to making one t-stat the master t-stat for setting heating or cooling mode. If I had it to do over, I would have spent the $ for a commercial grade system (called "VRF"), that would have allowed for simultaneous heating and cooling in different zones.

2. A heat pump system is slow to react to different setpoints. Most people are accustomed to turning up a t-stat, and getting a quick heating result. That doesn't happen with heat pumps.

3. My system is complex. Most techs (including the one who installed it), get lost in a sea of system complexity, software settings, and troubleshooting. I had to resort to reading the manuals myself, in order to get the system software to do some of what it needed to do for my setup to work properly.

4. There is a ton of refrigerant piping to serve this type of system. When you get a refrigerant leak, you are on a treasure hunt.


What I like:

1. The concealed air handlers that we installed (with proper duct sizing) are incredibly quiet.

2. I have 10 zones. Let's face it, most people have one zone. So, aside from family training issues, we are getting a higher degree of occupant comfort.

3. The exterior compressors are quiet. If I had installed several conventional AC compressors, I would have had to listen to them when using our outdoor spaces.


I have no idea if I might be saving money. My wife complains that the electric bills are high, so I have to explain that we don't get a big bill for fossil fuels. These days, given the energy efficiency of most new homes, I am not convinced that the theoretical savings between one system or another, are really worth the debate. On paper, you can make any system look good.

Sorry you asked?
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Old 02-02-2022, 05:07 PM   #50
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That noise problem has got to be a function of the brand. My new(ish) home has (2) 5-ton Mitsubishi heat pumps, that serve a total of 10 concealed air handler zones in the house. You can't even hear them unless you are 10 or 15 feet away. Even then, they are remarkably quiet.

I'm not 100% happy with the system, but it works, and isn't noisy.
I think he made a really good point.
I could barely ever hear the small cheap unit I installed outside.
But if it was aimed right at a neighbors window 100ft away it might be heard on a peaceful lake night.

They all have to move air in a confined space.
And the lakes can be so quiet you can hear a fish jump out of the water a 100 yards out.

If everyone had them then it will be like light pollution.
Also they tend to put out a white noise. Your brain will filter that out.
But you will notice it when you turn them off. It can mask you from hearing other pleasant night sounds you want to hear.

Just like light pollution. One light here and there seems innocent. Next thing you know you can’t see the stars any more.

I may end up with one but it’s something I will look at closely.

One other consideration is a straight air sourced heat pump.
The external unit is the same as a mini split and as efficient but is like a conventional forced hot air system in the house. So no ugly head units. The system I have in MA force hot air. You can’t hear it 1 ft away from the vents. Just constant very low flow warm air. Because fan is way down in the main unit and not turning very fast once up to temp.
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Old 02-02-2022, 08:20 PM   #51
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One other consideration is a straight air sourced heat pump. The external unit is the same as a mini split and as efficient but is like a conventional forced hot air system in the house. So no ugly head units. The system I have in MA force hot air. You canít hear it 1 ft away from the vents. Just constant very low flow warm air. Because fan is way down in the main unit and not turning very fast once up to temp.
A mini split ďisĒ an air source heat pump. The only difference is that the newer ďmini splitĒ heat pumps are inverter driven, allowing them to operate at lower outdoor temperatures, and somewhat higher efficiencies. Both will heat slower than a fossil fuel heat source, because they are moving heat, not creating heat. Note that older/traditional heat pumps will not operate in New England winter weather, so you need an alternative heating source.

Further, the wall units typically associated with mini splits are only one option. My units are all concealed and ducted. They are invisible but for the supply and return registers that are typically seen on conventional forced air heating/cooling systems.

My opinion is that the modern inverter driven heat pumps will soon become the dominant HVAC systems for nearly all buildings. They are relatively simple to install, use very little space, are efficient, and do not burn fossil fuels. (Aside from whatever fossil fuels the electrical supplier might use to create electricity). They still have a few shortcomings, but they are are right there with electric vehicles in terms of technological advancements, and public acceptance. Almost every major HVAC manufacturer (Carrier, Trane, Lennox, etc) has a line of inverter driven heat pump systems. I think its only a matter of time.
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Old 02-02-2022, 08:32 PM   #52
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I have one outdoor Mitsubishi unit powering 7 internal units. It's not completely silent, but there is way less noise inside than an oil burner and none of the subtle vibration. If everybody had one, it would be quieter for the whole neighborhood
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Old 02-02-2022, 08:52 PM   #53
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I think we will need to see a serious upgrade to the grid before some of the change occurs.

Not to mention overcoming the past, when everyone went to electric heat because it was so ''cheap''.

From the more recent changes in windows... seems solar is back on the page. Lots of manufacturers offering some sort of ''Passive'' option.
Not sure how well that will work without thermal mass... but I expect that I should start seeing it in some designs.
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Old 02-02-2022, 09:43 PM   #54
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I'm pretty familiar with commercial HVAC systems, and my explanation would probably go beyond the level of detail warranted for this forum, but here are some tidbits:

What I "don't " like:

1. My system is a Mitsubishi "M" series system, that allows for up to 5 zones per compressor. In theory, this gives you lots of individual control in each room. However, each outdoor compressor really needs to be in either heating, or cooling, at any given time. That sounds fine, bust most people don't understand that nuance, so my guests (and spouse) are continually trying to change the system over to one mode or another. This creates issues with the system controllers, and we invariably get system errors. Ultimately, I had to resort to making one t-stat the master t-stat for setting heating or cooling mode. If I had it to do over, I would have spent the $ for a commercial grade system (called "VRF"), that would have allowed for simultaneous heating and cooling in different zones.

2. A heat pump system is slow to react to different setpoints. Most people are accustomed to turning up a t-stat, and getting a quick heating result. That doesn't happen with heat pumps.

3. My system is complex. Most techs (including the one who installed it), get lost in a sea of system complexity, software settings, and troubleshooting. I had to resort to reading the manuals myself, in order to get the system software to do some of what it needed to do for my setup to work properly.

4. There is a ton of refrigerant piping to serve this type of system. When you get a refrigerant leak, you are on a treasure hunt.


What I like:

1. The concealed air handlers that we installed (with proper duct sizing) are incredibly quiet.

2. I have 10 zones. Let's face it, most people have one zone. So, aside from family training issues, we are getting a higher degree of occupant comfort.

3. The exterior compressors are quiet. If I had installed several conventional AC compressors, I would have had to listen to them when using our outdoor spaces.


I have no idea if I might be saving money. My wife complains that the electric bills are high, so I have to explain that we don't get a big bill for fossil fuels. These days, given the energy efficiency of most new homes, I am not convinced that the theoretical savings between one system or another, are really worth the debate. On paper, you can make any system look good.

Sorry you asked?
It doesn't surprise me at all. I've always preferred individual heads or floor units. The more complex the system is the greater chances of you never being satisfied.
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Old 02-03-2022, 08:41 AM   #55
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A mini split “is” an air source heat pump. The only difference is that the newer “mini split” heat pumps are inverter driven, allowing them to operate at lower outdoor temperatures, and somewhat higher efficiencies. Both will heat slower than a fossil fuel heat source, because they are moving heat, not creating heat. Note that older/traditional heat pumps will not operate in New England winter weather, so you need an alternative heating source.

Further, the wall units typically associated with mini splits are only one option. My units are all concealed and ducted. They are invisible but for the supply and return registers that are typically seen on conventional forced air heating/cooling systems.

My opinion is that the modern inverter driven heat pumps will soon become the dominant HVAC systems for nearly all buildings. They are relatively simple to install, use very little space, are efficient, and do not burn fossil fuels. (Aside from whatever fossil fuels the electrical supplier might use to create electricity). They still have a few shortcomings, but they are are right there with electric vehicles in terms of technological advancements, and public acceptance. Almost every major HVAC manufacturer (Carrier, Trane, Lennox, etc) has a line of inverter driven heat pump systems. I think its only a matter of time.
The one mini split I have heats way faster than any oil burner forced hot water.
The forced hot air system I have in MA has 0dB outdoors my mini split and Inverter Based HVAC has some sound outdoors and is not zero. They are good but they are not zero and and agree around the lake it would not be good. Especially in areas that cottages are packed close together and not much foliage. Sorry, you will hear them.

Natural gas heating systems, even my 50 year old one I replaced never “vibrated”. Only oil burners “vibrate”. But it’s only heard indoors. I never heard a neighbors heating system. I don’t care in the burbs but I do if I was on the lake.

All air sourced heat pumps need backup in new England. It’s even common for the Geothermal to keep system size a manageable cost.

All cost aside Geothermal forced hot air is the best of all. But really expensive. And over life time pay back over air sourced heat pump.

With savings of mini split over geothermal, the difference would pay for a solar system.

Does anyone know if air sourced heat pumps (forced hot air) and mini splits qualify for the same 26% tax credit as Geothermal.
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Old 02-03-2022, 09:57 AM   #56
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I have 2 single zone Mitsubishi units at home and cannot hear them run from inside the house, and both of them are basically outside my master bedroom. Our house is primarily NG/FHA but I added the splits to some newer additions.

At the island we have 2 multi-head Mitsubishi units, both outdoor units are right below the window in my master, literally behind my headboard. I can hear a slight fan whir at most if I am focusing on it.

I am surprised to hear others are complaining about noise.

Daikin has a newer system called the VRV. It adds in propane heat to the split system, and can be set to switch to the LPG backup at a preset temp. I have yet to get any details from the dealers I have called, but want to look into it. Not all Daikin dealers are certified on them. Seems like the best of both worlds. Or a gimmick?
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Old 02-03-2022, 10:52 AM   #57
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I have 2 single zone Mitsubishi units at home and cannot hear them run from inside the house, and both of them are basically outside my master bedroom. Our house is primarily NG/FHA but I added the splits to some newer additions.

At the island we have 2 multi-head Mitsubishi units, both outdoor units are right below the window in my master, literally behind my headboard. I can hear a slight fan whir at most if I am focusing on it.

I am surprised to hear others are complaining about noise.

Daikin has a newer system called the VRV. It adds in propane heat to the split system, and can be set to switch to the LPG backup at a preset temp. I have yet to get any details from the dealers I have called, but want to look into it. Not all Daikin dealers are certified on them. Seems like the best of both worlds. Or a gimmick?
I couldnít hear mine from inside the house either. But if my neighbors windows were open, they probably would.

They are NOT noisy. None of them are. But they make sound. Even 40dB ( a library) is to much I donít think people get it.

Geothermal is silent (to your neighbors). No air sourced system is silent.

My neighbors dock lights are not bright or ugly. But I absolutely hate them because I can never have total darkness again.

If you have a whirring sound 100ft away (which isnít that far) all summer youíll never hear total silence again.
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Old 02-03-2022, 05:01 PM   #58
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I couldnít hear mine from inside the house either. But if my neighbors windows were open, they probably would.

They are NOT noisy. None of them are. But they make sound. Even 40dB ( a library) is to much I donít think people get it.

Geothermal is silent (to your neighbors). No air sourced system is silent.

My neighbors dock lights are not bright or ugly. But I absolutely hate them because I can never have total darkness again.

If you have a whirring sound 100ft away (which isnít that far) all summer youíll never hear total silence again.
I do get it.
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Old 02-07-2022, 08:25 PM   #59
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I was the poster who mentioned the generator, and you are correct about a generator equating to a fuel source. Propane is a very popular generator fuel, and my thinking is that if a house has a generator, and the fuel is propane, then I would have that be a stand alone system, not providing fuel to any other system in the house. Most fuel providers offer automatic fill programs, some with pre-buy options, some not, but in order to accurately calculate the automatic fill delivery cycle, there has to be a reasonably consistent usage curve based on house size, season, weather (temperature), and family dynamic. Since it is not really possible to calculate usage for a generator , and since you certainly do not want to run out of fuel for your generator, I would keep the generator on its own system, not associated with the main propane supply for household use. Maybe somebody who has a generator for standby purposes and also uses propane for household purposes can comment on this situation.
I think that depends on how often you generally lose electric. In our former home we had oil heat and a whole house generator with its own propane tanks. We lost electricity quite a lot but the propane lasted for at least a good 3 years, except for for whenever we lost power for a week or so. And we had the room on our property for the 250 gallon stand up oil tank and the 2 /100 gallon propane tanks.

Here in our current home we have a teeny, tiny lot with 2 /100 gallon propane tanks - propane heat and for the generator, though we do have room for another tank. We did consider getting a separate propane tank for the generator, but considering power rarely goes out here, and we are living in a small, 1100 foot new build cottage which is energy efficient, we figured it might be overkill. I must confess, though, that we revisited that decision recently when it seemed our propane company was having a hard time getting deliveries out and our tanks were getting lower than we were comfortable with in the brutal temperatures weíve been having.
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Old 02-22-2022, 10:23 PM   #60
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Todayís Concord Monitor

https://www.concordmonitor.com/heat-...ricfy-44669691


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Old 02-23-2022, 01:12 AM   #61
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I have 2 single zone Mitsubishi units at home and cannot hear them run from inside the house, and both of them are basically outside my master bedroom. Our house is primarily NG/FHA but I added the splits to some newer additions.

At the island we have 2 multi-head Mitsubishi units, both outdoor units are right below the window in my master, literally behind my headboard. I can hear a slight fan whir at most if I am focusing on it.

I am surprised to hear others are complaining about noise.

Daikin has a newer system called the VRV. It adds in propane heat to the split system, and can be set to switch to the LPG backup at a preset temp. I have yet to get any details from the dealers I have called, but want to look into it. Not all Daikin dealers are certified on them. Seems like the best of both worlds. Or a gimmick?
I don’t hear my own AC from in the house either. But I do if I’m in my back yard. It’s not bad or loud at all. But if I was sitting on my dock in the evening on a quiet summer night, I would not want to hear ANY fan. Not mine or my neighbors.

Signed contract for Geothermal. Yes, it’s going to be a fortune.
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Old 02-23-2022, 10:45 AM   #62
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I donít hear my own AC from in the house either. But I do if Iím in my back yard. Itís not bad or loud at all. But if I was sitting on my dock in the evening on a quiet summer night, I would not want to hear ANY fan. Not mine or my neighbors.

Signed contract for Geothermal. Yes, itís going to be a fortune.
I love that you put your money where your mouth is...or at least where your ears are...

Please keep us posted on how it works out
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Old 03-09-2022, 03:43 PM   #63
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One of my quotes for splits came back as 5 condensers and 12 heads using Mitsubishi. Another was 3 Daikin 36/48k outdoor units and 12 heads.

What are people seeing for electric bills with similar sized systems? Another company was trying to push us to hydro air/lp and claimed that we would be seeing $2k electric bills in the dead of winter if we went all splits, which seems like a farce to me.
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Old 03-09-2022, 03:55 PM   #64
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Thatís a lot of heads! I currently have a DAIKIN with four heads. And a single head off a single unit. If I had to do it again I would run no more then three heads per unit. First head on gets priority over the others calling for ac and heat. Plus, if a unit goes bad you wonít lose as much. Two heads on at 64 my electric bill in January was 312. Thatís with electric dryer and cook top. Also, if one calls for heat the others can only get heat. I believe the newer units are either or


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Old 03-09-2022, 04:16 PM   #65
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64F, yikes. That’s Off for us We are weenies. Always 70F. 24/7

My Geothermal guy *claims* he has multiple customers with ~3000 sq ft homes that are paying around $500.00 for the entire winter. I forget if he gave me a temperatures. He can monitor the systems remotely so he knows exactly what they used.

Note that most Geothermal homes are newer and ultra insulated.
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Old 03-09-2022, 04:42 PM   #66
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One of my quotes for splits came back as 5 condensers and 12 heads using Mitsubishi. Another was 3 Daikin 36/48k outdoor units and 12 heads.

What are people seeing for electric bills with similar sized systems? Another company was trying to push us to hydro air/lp and claimed that we would be seeing $2k electric bills in the dead of winter if we went all splits, which seems like a farce to me.
I agree the company pushing the hybrid should not be trusted. I cannot remember the cost to run the mini splits before we had solar, but my sense was that it was about half the cost of oil. Obviously, a lot has changed since then, and oil is not propane, but the factors pushing up electric bills are also pushing up LP.
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Old 03-09-2022, 04:43 PM   #67
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64F, yikes. Thatís Off for us We are weenies. Always 70F. 24/7

My Geothermal guy *claims* he has multiple customers with ~3000 sq ft homes that are paying around $500.00 for the entire winter. I forget if he gave me a temperatures. He can monitor the systems remotely so he knows exactly what they used.

Note that most Geothermal homes are newer and ultra insulated.
Although we are putting in new windows and doors, our home is circa 1979 and not spray foam. We will blow in where we can in attic spaces to help, but its not a geo candidate.

As far as head count, it is a large home. About 5000sqft overall, with a large open great room and kitchen.
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Old 03-09-2022, 06:57 PM   #68
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One of my quotes for splits came back as 5 condensers and 12 heads using Mitsubishi. Another was 3 Daikin 36/48k outdoor units and 12 heads.

What are people seeing for electric bills with similar sized systems? Another company was trying to push us to hydro air/lp and claimed that we would be seeing $2k electric bills in the dead of winter if we went all splits, which seems like a farce to me.
There are many males/models of splits. In a cold climate like NH, it is critical that you review the efficiency ratings and capacities at the lowest likely operating temperatures. For instance, Mitsubishi has at least 3 different systems, all with different ratings at -13F. If you are buying a 60,000 btu unit, it might only provide 30,000 btu of heating capacity at full power operation. Ask to see the efficiency ratings and operating capacity charts at -13F, 0F, and 20F.

That said Daiken and Mitsubishi are the best 2 brands (been doing it the longest), so you are headed in the right direction.

I recently spoke with a friend in CA who bought a 5 zone, 5 ton (60,000 btu) Carrier system. He needs 60,000 btu at -10, but his unit only produces 28,000 btu at that temp. Heís cold, and unhappy, because he has to buy an entire new supplemental heating system for his house. His contractor assumed it had 60,000 btu down to -13F, and the marketing literature led them to think that was the case.
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Old 03-09-2022, 07:08 PM   #69
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I also have a backup forced hot water system fired by oil


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Old 03-09-2022, 09:55 PM   #70
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Wouldn't that have to run on stand-by?
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Old 03-10-2022, 06:35 AM   #71
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Wouldn't that have to run on stand-by?
No. Independent of each other. Those thermostats are all set at 60. With the mini splits you can then heat individuals spaces more efficiently. But, currently it’s a oil fired furnace that also does my hot water. Two things I need to address in the near future


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Old 03-10-2022, 04:14 PM   #72
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Foundation is in.

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Old 03-10-2022, 04:33 PM   #73
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Foundation is in.



Maybe start a new thread with your process?

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Old 03-10-2022, 05:38 PM   #74
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Psyched for you, msw! Beautiful lot. My recommendation for this Summer https://www.rei.com/rei-garage/produ...-two-room-tent
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Old 03-10-2022, 06:14 PM   #75
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No. Independent of each other. Those thermostats are all set at 60. With the mini splits you can then heat individuals spaces more efficiently. But, currently itís a oil fired furnace that also does my hot water. Two things I need to address in the near future


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Stand-by means the boiler must run to keep the water in its jacket and coil warm for when the demand occurs.

It is why the boiler runs in the summer when no one is using hot water... just keeping it ready for when it is needed.

So while the mini splits are keeping the house warm... the boiler must still run to keep the water in it within the set range.
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Old 03-10-2022, 06:35 PM   #76
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Looking forward to progress pics MSW! Looks amazing from renderings!
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Old 03-10-2022, 06:39 PM   #77
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Regarding heat, we are forced hot water by Viesmann (propane), wood stove backup, but adding minis this year for air and backup/ primary heat- whatever is cheaper. Gas and diesel generators can fire the minis.
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Old 03-10-2022, 10:54 PM   #78
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Stand-by means the boiler must run to keep the water in its jacket and coil warm for when the demand occurs.

It is why the boiler runs in the summer when no one is using hot water... just keeping it ready for when it is needed.

So while the mini splits are keeping the house warm... the boiler must still run to keep the water in it within the set range.
Correct. Unsure which direction to go with the hot water. Electric or propane on demand.


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Old 03-10-2022, 11:47 PM   #79
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Electric on demand generally requires a service upgrade if I remember correctly - been awhile.

Could go heat pump water heater.

My manager uses the same system that you currently use. He hasn't made a decision as to what the next move will be either.

Because of his oil burning history, I was able to determine that I use 100-150 gallons for space heating. I have a could more upgrades before I focus on my heating system.
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Old 03-11-2022, 08:13 AM   #80
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Default Oil fired hit water

An organization to which I belong has a building that was built in 1970. The heating system, which included hot water, was oil-fired boiler with three zones and also provided the hot water. This was installed back when oil was literally pennies on the dollar
Fast forward to about four or maybe five years ago, we were looking at the fact said it was costing us $800 to provide hot water from May to November. During that time, we had the thermostats set at 50 degrees.
The decision was made to install a Navion on demand propane-fired hot water heater. We literally turned off the oil fired boiler around the 1st of May and didn't turn it back on again until November. As noted above we were saving at least $800 a year in fuel oil costs.
Given the fact that we only needed hot water for approximately 35 to a maximum of 40 days a year, it made no sense to continue with the oil-fired hot water. Granted, our situation is far different than a home but there are times in a house where burning oil doesn't make any sense at all if it's just for hot water. We did have an 80 gallon tank that was super insulated.

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Old 03-11-2022, 08:26 AM   #81
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I donít hear my own AC from in the house either. But I do if Iím in my back yard. Itís not bad or loud at all. But if I was sitting on my dock in the evening on a quiet summer night, I would not want to hear ANY fan. Not mine or my neighbors.

Signed contract for Geothermal. Yes, itís going to be a fortune.
especially if it breaks down and needs to be serviced.
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Old 03-11-2022, 08:28 AM   #82
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If you can go with solar panels go with minisplits and electric HW... game over!
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Old 03-11-2022, 12:04 PM   #83
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especially if it breaks down and needs to be serviced.
My own heating system is "geothermal" (GSHP - ground source heat pump), installed in 2011. The only failure thus far was the water valve (not even part of the heat pump), a couple of years in. I replaced that myself for short money, one with an improved design. Service? I slide a new air filter in now and then. Otherwise it just runs, winter and summer, and I hardly think about it.
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Old 03-11-2022, 03:06 PM   #84
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especially if it breaks down and needs to be serviced.
The additional expense is the ground source (drilled wells). Those donít ďbreakĒ.

System Iím getting has 10 year warranty including labor.

Overall itís probably way more simple and more robust than an 8 head mini split setup.
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Old 03-11-2022, 03:22 PM   #85
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I don't believe that all FHW systems require temperature in the boiler to be maintained just in case of a heat demand. I have two Biasi FHW systems and they are both cold start. No constant boiler temperature. Boiler only fires when there is a heat demand....not on standby. I also put a simple $1 switch on the hot water tank thermostat line so I can interrupt the circuit and not have hot water when we are away for days/weeks. Took about 1o minutes to wire it in and works like a charm. No need to produce hot water or maintain hot water temp in the indirect water tank when nobody id around. Just flip the switch.
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Old 03-11-2022, 04:54 PM   #86
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I don't believe that all FHW systems require temperature in the boiler to be maintained just in case of a heat demand. I have two Biasi FHW systems and they are both cold start. No constant boiler temperature. Boiler only fires when there is a heat demand....not on standby. I also put a simple $1 switch on the hot water tank thermostat line so I can interrupt the circuit and not have hot water when we are away for days/weeks. Took about 1o minutes to wire it in and works like a charm. No need to produce hot water or maintain hot water temp in the indirect water tank when nobody id around. Just flip the switch.
I think letting FHW systems cold start will shorten their life span. Also I donít think oil fired likes it either. They are designed to stay warm. I did similar stuff to my oil fired FHW and I could tell it just didnít like it, but I still did it anyway. Another problem is chimney doesnít like it either.

One of the main things that ages stuff is expansion and contraction. The wider the swing and the higher the frequency the faster things age.

My MA system is FHA with natural gas direct vent It runs extremely low for very long periods or cold start. Itís designed for it. I never even know if itís on or not. Also have tankless instant hot water. But itís not that instant takes a minute or two. If I had to do over again Iíd get one that has a 1-2 gallon storage tank.
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Old 03-11-2022, 06:05 PM   #87
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His system is designed for cold start.
We can use the cut off service switch in the house should we leave for any length of time in the summer... but when it starts up it has more water (thermal mass) to heat before it is ready to produce domestic hot water at the level desired.

I don't remember when I first heard of the cold start oil-fired systems... as the various industries are always updating to keep competitive.
I even complained to our window manufacturers on their WOCD factory applied only situation, and finally have an Andersen approved field applied hardware option in my system - hard to find, but they pointed out how to. Of course, then I get informed that E-series will be 66 weeks lead time.

I'm guessing with the cold start oil-fired being in Europe first, it may be hard to either get parts... or maybe they have entered into the US market enough to overcome that obstacle.

It would be interested in hearing whether the AFUE is high-efficiency and what the cleaning schedule is. I heard the gas-fired on-demand was pretty high efficiency and ran very clean, while the only downside to the electric was the high wattage requirement for an average size home.
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Old 04-12-2022, 12:52 PM   #88
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My son-in-law installs Mitsubishi mini splits for a large company in northeastern MA. He is constantly advising people that they should not rely on the mini split as their only heat source, even the hyper heat units. Regarding efficiency - as it gets colder the efficiency drops.


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So many times we have people that try to heat all year with a split system. It will do it but it also uses more electric as the temp goes down.
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Old 04-12-2022, 01:59 PM   #89
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So many times we have people that try to heat all year with a split system. It will do it but it also uses more electric as the temp goes down.
Yes, mini splits do use more electric as the temp goes down. But I'm gonna go way out a limb and bet that nobody ever says mini splits cost more to run than oil. Oil and burners also use more fuel as the temp goes down. Like a number of other forum members, I heat all year with mini splits, and my electric bill is WAY less than my oil bill ever was...and that's before Russia...

Mini splits, solar power, LED bulbs, foam insulation, etc--kind of like ATMs for the home
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Old 04-12-2022, 02:19 PM   #90
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We live in the northeast, every home should have a backup alternative heating source. In my opinion that secondary source should be able to heat without the need of a electrical source. Wood-stoves and propane parlor stoves come to mind. Many people, including myself love mini spilts for both heat and ac. My concern is parts and service. Very few companies are carrying repair parts. A mini spilts life is 10 to 15 years. We are just starting to see the early units fail. When they are failing they are replaced not repaired


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Old 04-12-2022, 02:57 PM   #91
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So I have lived a bunch of different places, in a bunch of different climate, with various source of heat and cooling....... They all have pluses and minuses....

Heat pumps, and mini spits, are really the same thing at the root of how they work... If I was building a new home and wanted to go this root, I would just get a heat pump with duct work, and save money..... mini-spits are great for retro fitting, but cost more....

The down side to Heat pumps and mini-splits for heat is lower efficiency compared to other sources, once you get below freezing temperatures. You offset this by not trying to keep your house 70 degrees all winter long...

I have also used Gas and oil furnaces for force hot water heat... don't like this alternative, I don't think they work well at all....

I have had wall mounted propane heaters, and woodstoves for heat, they are nice, but not practical in larger homes / Areas....

For heat sources, I like Propane, or Natural gas, force hot air.... if your concerned about humidity, they all offer humidifier options... couple one of these with a AC unit, and you have everything you need... I don't think you save anything over a heat pump with this option... but I could be wrong.... but what you get is a good heat source and good AC source, that will last a long time... add the humidifier option even better.... with gas installed put a few gas fired fireplaces or wood stoves in the rooms you use the most, then you can keep the house temperature down around 65 dgreess and used the gas fired wood stoves or fire places to heat the rooms you use a bit more...

Anyways just my thoughts on the mater... everyone has an opinion.... none of them are wrong... you just have to gather as much data as you can and decided what seem right to you...
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Old 04-12-2022, 05:29 PM   #92
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We live in the northeast, every home should have a backup alternative heating source. In my opinion that secondary source should be able to heat without the need of a electrical source. Wood-stoves and propane parlor stoves come to mind. Many people, including myself love mini spilts for both heat and ac. My concern is parts and service. Very few companies are carrying repair parts. A mini spilts life is 10 to 15 years. We are just starting to see the early units fail. When they are failing they are replaced not repaired


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I use a generator. The woodstove in the shop is nice... but the generator can make the boiler run and thus I have water for a hot shower.
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Old 08-11-2022, 02:18 PM   #93
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House is coming along. Itís built like Fort Knox.





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Old 08-11-2022, 02:24 PM   #94
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Beautiful home Logo!! You must be excited!

Congratulations!!

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Old 08-11-2022, 02:29 PM   #95
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So I have lived a bunch of different places, in a bunch of different climate, with various source of heat and cooling....... They all have pluses and minuses....

Heat pumps, and mini spits, are really the same thing at the root of how they work... If I was building a new home and wanted to go this root, I would just get a heat pump with duct work, and save money..... mini-spits are great for retro fitting, but cost more....

The down side to Heat pumps and mini-splits for heat is lower efficiency compared to other sources, once you get below freezing temperatures. You offset this by not trying to keep your house 70 degrees all winter long...

I have also used Gas and oil furnaces for force hot water heat... don't like this alternative, I don't think they work well at all....

I have had wall mounted propane heaters, and woodstoves for heat, they are nice, but not practical in larger homes / Areas....

For heat sources, I like Propane, or Natural gas, force hot air.... if your concerned about humidity, they all offer humidifier options... couple one of these with a AC unit, and you have everything you need... I don't think you save anything over a heat pump with this option... but I could be wrong.... but what you get is a good heat source and good AC source, that will last a long time... add the humidifier option even better.... with gas installed put a few gas fired fireplaces or wood stoves in the rooms you use the most, then you can keep the house temperature down around 65 dgreess and used the gas fired wood stoves or fire places to heat the rooms you use a bit more...

Anyways just my thoughts on the mater... everyone has an opinion.... none of them are wrong... you just have to gather as much data as you can and decided what seem right to you...
Donít lump all heat pumps into one pile.

Efficiency of air sourced heat pumps (mini splits) goes down as the air temp goes down.
Efficiency of ground sourced (geothermal) is constant because the ground temp does not vary.

My house is supposed to cost $500.00/yr to heat. That was before fuel / electric rates went up. And you can basically power it with Solar.

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Old 08-11-2022, 02:38 PM   #96
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House looks super! Very excited for you
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Old 08-11-2022, 06:49 PM   #97
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Wow, what a really nice designówhen will y'all be done with construction, and will you be hosting the forum party?!

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Old 08-11-2022, 09:42 PM   #98
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Wow, what a really nice designówhen will y'all be done with construction, and will you be hosting the forum party?!

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Hoping around end of October.
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Old 08-11-2022, 09:47 PM   #99
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Hoping around end of October.
Perfect timing for the forum Thanksgiving and/or Christmas parties. I'll bring the pecan pie!

Good luck with the final stages.

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Old 08-11-2022, 09:53 PM   #100
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Sorry, but I just have to ask...
Why the Ice and Water Shield around the base of the house under the porch?
Or is that some other product?
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