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Railroad Tycoon
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I feel like I'm comfortable on borrowed time with my Heat/AC system. The air handler was born in 1985 and the outside unit
was a replacement 16 years ago. Both run 24/7 the
year round here in Florida. But to make sure they get all the TLC they need I have them cleaned and maintained twice a year.
So far no uninvited residents, but I do notice that the
plastic cover of the the flexible natural gas hose feeding my
Generac has been totally eaten away by a mammal with
a strange taste. The gas man says it's still safe.

Don
Squirrels like to do that, they like to chew !
Around here it is hard to keep the aluminum ties for the chain link fence on, they are always chewing on them too.

I had a picnic table since 1996. It made out of marine grade wood that has sat out back since I bought it.
Some guy hand made it, he has been building these for a long time. Good quality work.
Now I know it is old but those damn squirrels been chewing at the cross brackets underneath for years.
All the brackets are almost gone now.
If not for that the table would have lasted many more years.

Squirrels got into an attic in a garage down the street and were chewing on the electric wires, burnt down the garage !

Around here it is open season on them, BB pellet guns work nice if the bleeding hearts don't see you. :smokin:

Bottom line is that they like to chew! Not to eat just to chew.
 

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...Around here it is open season on them, BB pellet guns work nice if the bleeding hearts don't see you. :smokin:
FYI: In NJ, in the absence of a firearms license, a BB or pellet gun is considered an illegal handgun.

I had a CO2 BB pistol from my time in downstate NY. Dialed it in by filing the plastic sites. With BBs, they require a head shot. I got several at 30'. But no matter how many you take out, their neighbors just fill in the void. So I stopped when I had to pay $150 after I reduced my backyard neighbor's double pane window to the single pane variety :eek:hwell:
 

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...Around here it is open season on them, BB pellet guns work nice if the bleeding hearts don't see you.
FYI: In NJ, in the absence of a firearms license, a BB or pellet gun is considered an illegal handgun.

I had a CO2 BB pistol from my time in downstate NY. Dialed it in by filing the plastic sites. With BBs, they require a head shot. I got several at 30'. But no matter how many you take out, their neighbors just fill in the void. So I stopped when I had to pay $150 after I reduced my backyard neighbor's double pane window to the single pane variety
. That’s no joke my brother got pulled over on 206 by Culver’s lake with a BB gun in his truck and went to prison for it!! It’s considered felony weapons possession.
 

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Both the service technicians told me the same thing. The Carrier system I have is their top model and it will run efficiently down to 32 degrees. Then the gas furnace (95% efficiency) takes over. It really is a great system and delivered tip-top performance over the ten years, until now.

I had no reason to doubt what they said. At that point, they didn't have to try to sell me something.
Since you have natural gas, I can't imagine why you went with a heat pump. I have gas and I just went with gas and the A/C, no reason to use electricity when gas is so cheap. :)
 

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Both the service technicians told me the same thing. The Carrier system I have is their top model and it will run efficiently down to 32 degrees. Then the gas furnace (95% efficiency) takes over. It really is a great system and delivered tip-top performance over the ten years, until now.

I had no reason to doubt what they said. At that point, they didn't have to try to sell me something.
Since you have natural gas, I can't imagine why you went with a heat pump. I have gas and I just went with gas and the A/C, no reason to use electricity when gas is so cheap. <img src="http://www.modeltrainforum.com/images/smilies/smile.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smile" class="inlineimg" />
I thought about that as well. I’m not wild about the heat pump. Never had one before and it was a learning curve.

We don’t have a natural gas line to the house but I noticed that it is in the neighborhood. I was thinking when it was time for a re-fit we could go the gas furnace/AC route. It would entail the expense of having the line run, however.

Time to research, I guess, before the old unit passes on.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Here is my reasoning, right or wrong. Sure gas is cheap. The heat pump can run down to 32 degrees efficiently. I decided to opt for a hybrid system because it provided an option for heat source. I am able to set the system to operate on gas, electric or as a hybrid. We have seen a reduction in our overall winter energy cost since it was installed over our previous set up of a gas furnace and AC.

It just works for us. Sure, the high efficiency furnace has a lot to do with our reduced gas consumption and the compressor for the heat pump is very efficient also. Both systems provide adequate heat for us and our home.

To me it's always good to have an option. One never knows where the cost of gas and electricity will be tomorrow, so, why not have the ability to choose if one is available? And, the cost difference, at the time between a hybrid system and a furnace/AC combination was offset by a Federal energy rebate and a very good price from Carrier.

As I said, right or wrong, it was a choice I made, and, but for the rodent infestation, I have been pleased with the system I chose.

Everyone has reasons for what they do, and there are always conflicting opinions. These are choices we make daily. I choose to drink Budweiser beer. Others may think it tastes like piss. It doesn't make either opinion right or wrong. It's personal choice, period.
 

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Just to clarify my own post, I thought about the gas thing a few months back. Sounds like the system you chose is very flexible.
As for beer, lol, that’s a great topic for a new thread.
 

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Here is my reasoning, right or wrong. Sure gas is cheap. The heat pump can run down to 32 degrees efficiently. I decided to opt for a hybrid system because it provided an option for heat source. I am able to set the system to operate on gas, electric or as a hybrid. We have seen a reduction in our overall winter energy cost since it was installed over our previous set up of a gas furnace and AC.
Makes sense. I lived with heat pumps for three houses, decided it was time to try something new. :D

FWIW, I still have a heat pump around, the loft was done with a split ductless system, and I added a second head in my train room. So, I have everything covered! :D If the gas craps out, we'll all gather around the trains or in the 3rd story loft where the heat is. ;)
 

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... The heat pump can run down to 32 degrees efficiently.
A heat pumps efficiency degrades as the difference in temperature rises

In the summer, cooling a house from 90 degrees to a comfortable 74 degrees is a 16 degree of difference. In the winter, warming a house from 32 degrees to 68 degrees is a 36 degree difference.

The "down to 32 degrees" seems like an arbitrary point. How efficient is it down to 32 degrees? What's the cost per BTU of electric versus gas? The efficiency of the pump versus the furnace at different outside temperatures?

I suspect your overall bill went down because you upgraded to a modern system. Me, as a first test, I would start with the heat pump set 40 degrees minimum and switch over to gas at below that. But, it would be a complicated assessment; outside temperature over a billing cycle, etc.

Perhaps there's some info on the web with general guidelines from knowledgeable sources.

pump.png
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Mike, I am just pointing out that the overall system has resulted in an overall decrease in my utility bills. I won't attempt to open a discussion of how many btu's are available from each system. The bottom line is that I am happy with both the performance of the system, and the fact that I am paying less for heat, whether it comes from the heat pump or the gas fired furnace, or a combination of both.
 

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We have a heat pump w/propane backup (nat'l gas not available) installed in 2013. Installer set it up so the heat would switch to gas below 40 deg.

41 degrees outside and the HP would run for an hour to move the inside temp 1 degree. That didn't seem too efficient to me. So I played around with it a bit and switching from HP to propane below 45 degrees seems to be the happy place.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
We have a heat pump w/propane backup (nat'l gas not available) installed in 2013. Installer set it up so the heat would switch to gas below 40 deg.

41 degrees outside and the HP would run for an hour to move the inside temp 1 degree. That didn't seem too efficient to me. So I played around with it a bit and switching from HP to propane below 45 degrees seems to be the happy place.
That sounds wrong. Perhaps something (low refrigerant charge) is amiss with the compressor. Have you had it checked? Have you noticed it operating in a defrost mode? You should feel heat at the discharge of the condenser and cool air being supplied in the house. If you don't, then the charge is probably low, and you may have a leak.
 

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Have it serviced every year.

"cool air being supplied in the house" was the problem. At 41 degrees outside there's not that much heat to extract from the air. So the thing has to run forever to raise the temp inside even a degree. Didn't seem efficient.
 

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Mike, I am just pointing out that the overall system has resulted in an overall decrease in my utility bills. I won't attempt to open a discussion of how many btu's are available from each system. The bottom line is that I am happy with both the performance of the system, and the fact that I am paying less for heat, whether it comes from the heat pump or the gas fired furnace, or a combination of both.
Bob, sorry if my post wasn't written well. I was asking rhetorical questions - pointing out the difficulty of doing a rigorous mathematical analysis.

Most advice says 40+ degrees for heat pumps. That bottom 8 degrees, from 40 down to 32, is where the pump is least efficient. That's dictated by the physics of thermodynamics.

You may save even more by raising the temp setting, the point where gas takes over. You may also save a lot of wear & tear on the heat pump itself. As stumpy points out, at the lower temps, the pump has to work a long time for diminishing benefit. And it's likely costing a lot more in electric than gas for the furnace.
 

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There are tons of charts and graphs about heat pump efficiency, and a properly working fairly new heat pump should work down to 5-10 degrees F. As far as not enough heat to extract, that's a misconception. There is heat to extract until you get down to absolute zero, that's –459.67°F! At issue is the capability of the equipment to extract the heat.
 
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