Heating the home - electric vs. natural gas?

Re: Heating the home - electric vs. natural gas?

Postby eatSleepWoof » Nov 20th, 2018, 11:46 am

With regards to running the heat pump and the furnace at the same time, my thermostat provides that option, but specifically warns: "Set this to Disable if natural gas or oil is the Aux Heat fuel, otherwise Heat Pump failure may occur."

(I've left that option Disabled as I have natural gas.)
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Re: Heating the home - electric vs. natural gas?

Postby Glacier » Nov 20th, 2018, 3:00 pm

Here is some math for you.

It takes 20,000 kWh to heat my home each year. That's 72 GJ.

To heat with just gas costs you $724. To heat with baseboard heaters costs you $2574 if you live in Vernon and $3,124 if you live in Kelowna.

If you have a heat pump, you might be able to achieve an average COP of 2, so your heating bill will only be $1,562 in Kelowna. Not too bad. Half of what Baseboard Bob pays, but still twice what I pay.

air-source-heat-pumps-cold-weather.jpg
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Re: Heating the home - electric vs. natural gas?

Postby George+ » Nov 20th, 2018, 4:30 pm

Heat pumps can do a lot more than people think..
Takes some experimenting.
U.S Energy Dept. estimates up to 50% savings.

A couple of neighbours also have heat pumps that run all Winter.
Does not make sense to shut it off. Mine works all the time til house to temp.


"The COP continues to drop until we reach an outdoor temperature of -4°F (-20°C). -4°F is the lower limit of our air source heat pump effective temperature range. In temperatures lower than that the heat pump shuts down and electric backup heat takes over." U.S. Energy.

There are heat pumps designed for colder weather.
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Re: Heating the home - electric vs. natural gas?

Postby George+ » Nov 20th, 2018, 4:35 pm

Tons of good reading on the internet...many myths about heat pumps.

https://precisioncomfort.com/2016/01/04 ... d-weather/
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Re: Heating the home - electric vs. natural gas?

Postby zoo » Nov 20th, 2018, 8:03 pm

So, with out a doubt cheaper to forget you even have the heat pump.
The cost of Electricity is a joke.
Gas would be far cheaper and cleaner burning??? Oh wait, We spend millions on trying to be cleaner for the environment, but not when it comes to the lucrative money source of electricity for the government.
At -4 degrees my heat pump never shuts off. And yes high efficient and big too.
Be glad you have gas.
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Re: Heating the home - electric vs. natural gas?

Postby dontrump » Nov 20th, 2018, 8:56 pm

eatSleepWoof wrote:My first winter in the OK (Vernon). I've got a "high efficiency split system" heat pump. My understanding is that it can run off of electricity or natural gas. The manual says that I can force the heat pump to run off of the secondary energy source (natural gas) by setting the thermostat to "EM Heat."

Do you find it is more cost effective to heat using natural gas instead of electricity in the winter? Do you run the thermostat in AUTO or EM Heat mode? I can't seem to find when/how the heat pump will fall back to the secondary (natural gas) source if set to AUTO, and am wondering whether it would be better to just set it to EM Heat manually.


run it off the natural gas when its under o C otherwise your power bill will kill you;; I have the elite system called geo thermo ; a couple steps above any standard heat pump system and my power bill is bad to the bone since the colder weather has set in :swear:
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Re: Heating the home - electric vs. natural gas?

Postby dontrump » Nov 20th, 2018, 9:00 pm

Glacier wrote:Heat pumps should only be used for AC or maybe heating above 5C. This time of year until April you should only use gas. Unless you want MASSIVE electrical bills! The only time you should ever use electric heat in the winter is if you have a ground loop geothermal system.



xactly what I have and it burns power like crazy currently 40-50 KWH per day and its not that cold yet
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Re: Heating the home - electric vs. natural gas?

Postby dontrump » Nov 20th, 2018, 9:00 pm

Glacier wrote:Heat pumps should only be used for AC or maybe heating above 5C. This time of year until April you should only use gas. Unless you want MASSIVE electrical bills! The only time you should ever use electric heat in the winter is if you have a ground loop geothermal system.



xactly what I have and it burns power like crazy currently 40-50 KWH per day and its not that cold yet
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Re: Heating the home - electric vs. natural gas?

Postby Glacier » Nov 20th, 2018, 9:01 pm

zoo wrote:At -4 degrees my heat pump never shuts off. And yes high efficient and big too.
Be glad you have gas.


Really? When is the last time it was -4F/-20C in the Okanagan?
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Re: Heating the home - electric vs. natural gas?

Postby LANDM » Nov 20th, 2018, 9:11 pm

I would like to see an affordable way to have an air heat exchanger running efficiently at -20C.
Sorry, George...your numbers aren’t there to back you up.
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Re: Heating the home - electric vs. natural gas?

Postby George+ » Nov 21st, 2018, 7:29 am

I did not say it would be efiicient but
should be running and supplementing your furnace.
Experiment a little.

The heat pump should not cost you more in power in the cold.
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Re: Heating the home - electric vs. natural gas?

Postby Glacier » Nov 21st, 2018, 7:32 am

George+ wrote:The heat pump should not cost you more in power in the cold.

And that, folks, is what I call solid NDP style Math!
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Re: Heating the home - electric vs. natural gas?

Postby George+ » Nov 21st, 2018, 7:49 am

Well it will take the same amount of power per hour,
to run it in the cold as in the warm..

"According to energywise.govt.nz, a heat pump used 6 hours per day for 6 months of the year with an energy output of 6KwH will cost around $400 per year to run. So, if you use a heat pump instead of an equivalent electric heater in your living space can save you around $500 a year.Aug 24, 2016"

It is a mistake to ever shut your heat pump off.
Especially if your back up is a clean electric furnace.
Ask the installer. Learn how to use it.

Are we not trying to reduce fossil fuel use, even if a little more expensive?
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Re: Heating the home - electric vs. natural gas?

Postby Pete Podoski » Nov 21st, 2018, 8:31 am

Heat pumps are yesterday's tech.

High efficiency gas furnaces are by far the best choice. We will have our installation paid off in less than 4 years with the savings we're getting since we dumped our old system.

For your home's resale value, too, don't saddle it with an old piece of junk heat pump. Buyers don't want those old boat anchors any more.
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Re: Heating the home - electric vs. natural gas?

Postby Glacier » Nov 21st, 2018, 8:44 am

Pete Podoski wrote:For your home's resale value, too, don't saddle it with an old piece of junk heat pump. Buyers don't want those old boat anchors any more.

What a bunch of bunk. Heat pumps are great, especially when it comes to cooling your place in summer!

A new furnace saves you in 4 years? Really? I use something like $700 worth of gas to heat my house. Let's say I get a new furnace that saves me $300/year. That furnace is going to cost something like $4000 to install. That's no 4 year payback.
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