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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    15

    Question Heat pump on my water heater. Should I turn it off in winter to save heat?

    My water heater has a heat pump on it. My house is heated by a force hot air propane furnace. It is in my cellar and it gets really cold down there from the cold air blowing from the heat pump. Should I change it to regular hot water to save on propane. When my heat comes on it blows really cold air first. The duct work is the cellar is always freezing.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,330

    Default Re: Heat pump on my water heater. Should I turn it off in winter to save heat?

    A forced-air system takes a few moments to displace the cold air in the ducts with heated air when they system starts up again so that might be normal. As to the WH heat pump, all I can suggest is to do a cost analysis both ways over a few months time to average out any anomalies. If the propane bill goes down more than the electric bill goes up, you've got a winner idea for the winter. Personally my choice would be to have a propane WH instead since you have that fuel available now.

    With every change between energy forms there will be an inherent loss in the process which is rarely if ever made better by the change. With electric heat almost all of the energy turns directly into BTU's, yet if the electricity rates are high enough a lossier system may be more economical if the fuel is cheaper. My last propane WH was cheap to operate and had a very fast recovery time too, but my fuel costs here were very low compared to some nearby locales. I found that the supplier price varied wildly with the biggest outfit charging 20%-25% more than I paid, yet most people used them simply because they were the biggest name. Another problem you may have is the tank; it may belong to the supplier under lease leaving you stuck with using them only, and some suppliers will not fill a tank they don't own which may incur another cost in acquiring an approved tank as per a given supplier's specs. Shop all your suppliers and ask for the details- you may be surprised.

    I built in a large subdivision where one of 3 local LP suppliers offered free tanks and installation which by covenant had to be underground. Since the others wanted customers to buy or lease the tanks plus installation, everyone used the 'free' ones, never thinking about the cost of the fuel (about 50% above the other two) or the ability to change suppliers later on and now they're all stuck and the LP supplier is laughing all the way to the bank.


    You can't get something for nothing- you have to account for the heat pump's initial cost, the power it uses to operate, any maintenance it will need, and it's projected service life versus the same for all the other options. I fail to see how adding the power, maintenance, etc. and energy-change of the heat pump can offset the costs enough to make it economically the best option. Just because something can be done is never a reason to do it that way in and of itself

    Phil

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Ontario, CA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Heat pump on my water heater. Should I turn it off in winter to save heat?

    You should not turn off the water heater just to save heat instead you should leave the heating system running at a minimum setting (with the water turned off of course) Though it might seem like a waste of money or energy at first glance,A minimal heating bill will be less expensive than the cost of potential repairs if everything were to freeze up. Also, the rigors of extreme winter temperatures and low humidity in a winterized home stress the interior of the house and the appliances. Wood trim and furniture dry out, and seals in appliances can dry and crack.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Heat pump on my water heater. Should I turn it off in winter to save heat?

    I am not look to turn off my water heater just the heat pump. I can run it with the normal elements.

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