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I have a 7.7 kW south-facing PV system. Would an electric heat pump be the best option to heat and cool my home?

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Jan 04, 2012 02:09 AM
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by last modified Oct 10, 2010

My home is 1000 sq ft. I have a 7.7 kW PV system that produces about 40+ kWh a day -- more than double what I use. I currently have no heat because the house was a remodel and the old oil burner, chimney, and plumbing have been removed. Since I have the extra electric from the PV, would it make sense to get electric heat instead of a new oil burner? Gas is not available in my area. I looked into geothermal but it was way out of my budget. I then looked into heat pumps with backup electric



Great PV system!

If you decide to go the heat pump route, make sure you find a very experienced installer. The data shows that heat pumps are very efficient; however, they are so often poorly installed that the efficiency is generally reduced by 50% due to several common installation deficiencies.

They are also very expensive. If you have an electric hot water heater, perhaps going combined hydronic heating would be a very efficient choice. The conventional hot water tank would be hooked up to a variable-speed air handler and a forced-air duct system would be installed. Then you can install a conventional Energy Star-rated (14 SEER) 1.5 ton a/c condensor that can also run off your PV.

No matter what, make sure that you have a duct-blaster test to ensure that the ducts are tight. Less that 3% leakage is acceptable.




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