What kind of savings using ductless heat pump?
March 15, 2012 5:03 AM   Subscribe

What kind of saving can I expect from a ductless AC with heat pump?

I live in Massachusetts. I currently have oil-fired forced hot water.
I'm considering installing ductless AC throughout the house and am also considering the heat pump option.

Everyone tells me that "You save money on heating using the heat pump" but nobody ever quantifies it.

Can I use the heat pump throughout the winter? I have some rooms that don't heat evenly. Can I use this all winter just to balance out the temps of the rooms if I want?

What kind of savings can I expect over running my furnace all the time? Anything else I should know?
posted by Thrillhouse to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
I love in southern CT, so comparable in climate. We had electric heat, which my understanding is is more expensive than oil. We installed central air with a heat pump, but we had ductwork put in. If this makes my data useless to you, I apologize.

I believe we save roughly $100 a month. Savings are higher in winter, obviously. But I think that's the average.

We also installed a water heater with heat pump, which upped our savings further. We also have a programmable thermostat, which is key.

I could tell you about how we keep different vents varying degrees of open and closed to keep the rooms roughly evenly heated, but it seems like that would be useless if you're going ductless.
posted by troywestfield at 5:46 AM on March 15, 2012

In my experience, heat pumps work great down to a certain temperature (say somewhere in the mid-to-high 30's) Lower than that and they're pretty much tepid crap.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:49 AM on March 15, 2012

I saved ~100/month in Oregon (vs. radiant electric heat which is awful). I was also heating more of the house (i.e. the entire house with the ductless vs. one room with the radiant) to a warmer temperature. I loved my ductless.

It also didn't have a problem with teens and twenties (overnight) and performed admirably in the few single digit nights we had. It couldn't keep the whole house totally warm when the outside temperature was < 10, but it wasn't "tepid crap".
posted by jeffch at 7:14 AM on March 15, 2012

We had one in nothern kentucky, and our experience was like Thorzdad - down to mid 30's, they were great. Great in the summer. Our system worked so that below a certain temp, our natural gas furnace kicked in. I think our savings were on the order of $200/month for a four bedroom, 2600 sq foot house. We had ducts, though.
posted by dpx.mfx at 7:56 AM on March 15, 2012

Instead of a fan venting to outside, you research a ground source loop instead, using the earth as a heat source / dump. I'm not sure what the usage numbers work out to though.
posted by defcom1 at 8:22 AM on March 15, 2012

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