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Old 10-06-2015, 10:08 PM   #1
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Heat Pump or propane furnace?

....I am looking at the price and wear and tear of usage....propane is pretty cheap right now in my area as is electricity....so price being the least of my worries, is there one that you consider more efficient to include wear and tear?

WDK
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:09 PM   #2
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Heat pump only works down to 40 or so.
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:28 PM   #3
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If you use hookups a lot, get a portable electric space heater
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:31 PM   #4
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If you use your A/C more than 3 months a year (i.e. full timer in a southern area), then it probably makes sense to use propane for heat to reduce wear on the A/C-Heat Pump.
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:01 PM   #5
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Heat Pump or propane furnace?

Don't worry!
Heat pumps and propane heaters work for a very long time if well maintained.
Propane will be less noise intrusive.
Happy Trails
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:11 PM   #6
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Propane furnaces use lots of fuel and here it's $2.84 a gallon. Much cheaper to use the heat pump here in the NW. Lots of stick houses use heat pumps too. We did have one but it quit after 20 years, went to replace it and gas was cheaper so we went with an air con and gas heat backup. Then they raised the cost of gas and heat pumps are now cheaper. You just can't win!
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Old 10-07-2015, 09:12 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by bluepill View Post
If you use your A/C more than 3 months a year (i.e. full timer in a southern area), then it probably makes sense to use propane for heat to reduce wear on the A/C-Heat Pump.
.....thank you, new coach, first time with a heat pump.....I also have one of those fake fire places that's suppose to heat the living room up....I have not tried it yet. Simple economics in trying to determine the cheapest to use which also includes repair/replacement durability.


Just started fulfilling as of Sunday. We are not rolling yet....living in the Southern California are so the AC does get used. Right now we are in preparation to leave our jobs and start our next 5 to 6 year adventure.

WDK
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Old 10-07-2015, 09:18 AM   #8
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I think wear and tear are probably less important than overall cost of operating AC/heating systems.

Here is a link to a web site to help you calculate with is most cost effective.

BTW...I checked with Winter Ranch in Alamo, TX ($.13/Kwh) & Amigo Gas ($2.60/gallon) for today's prices and using a conservative 75% furnace efficiency I got this:

Electric:

Electric rate (per kilowatt-hour) = 0.1300
Cost of heat (per 100,000 BTU) = 3.81

Fuel:

Propane cost per gallon = 2.60
Burner efficiency factor = 75%
Cost of heat (per 100,000 BTU) = 3.75

Gas was a slight winner. That being said there are a few factors to toss in selecting heating source.

1. As an example, if you close things off to the bedroom at night, using an electric space heater and dialing down the gas furnace for the rest of the RV might be more cost effective when doing that.

2. As temps drop, heat pumps become less efficient so it is possible that you will get less BTUs/Kwh when temps start getting below 40 compared to the electric calculations above. If you have electric heat strips, those may be more efficient at lower temps than heat pumps. At least this is my working theory.
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:36 AM   #9
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I think you got this spot on, Sky_Boss
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
I think wear and tear are probably less important than overall cost of operating AC/heating systems.

Here is a link to a web site to help you calculate with is most cost effective.

BTW...I checked with Winter Ranch in Alamo, TX ($.13/Kwh) & Amigo Gas ($2.60/gallon) for today's prices and using a conservative 75% furnace efficiency I got this:

Electric:

Electric rate (per kilowatt-hour) = 0.1300
Cost of heat (per 100,000 BTU) = 3.81

Fuel:

Propane cost per gallon = 2.60
Burner efficiency factor = 75%
Cost of heat (per 100,000 BTU) = 3.75

Gas was a slight winner. That being said there are a few factors to toss in selecting heating source.

1. As an example, if you close things off to the bedroom at night, using an electric space heater and dialing down the gas furnace for the rest of the RV might be more cost effective when doing that.

2. As temps drop, heat pumps become less efficient so it is possible that you will get less BTUs/Kwh when temps start getting below 40 compared to the electric calculations above. If you have electric heat strips, those may be more efficient at lower temps than heat pumps. At least this is my working theory.
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And if you stay at camp grounds with full hook ups, effective cost of electric heat for you is $0.
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:50 AM   #11
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And if you stay at camp grounds with full hook ups, effective cost of electric heat for you is $0.

For short term stays the cost is built in to a higher rate.
The comparisons are for monthly renters.
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:54 AM   #12
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I'd not sweat the 'wear and tear' issue......

Best, cheapest solution is maybe your electric 'fire' in the living room..... running off shore power.

Next, a small 'cube' electric heater..... you could use both.

The HP will work down to 40ish... maybe 35.... but relies on the LP furnace to make up the difference. It will revert totally to the LP furnace until it warms up enough to make the unit's algorithm redeploy the heat pump.

LP furnace....

What's not said is that the HP is really noisy...... like REALLY NOISY. Just like the A/C running. The LP is also noisy..... but not so much as the HP.

The best solution.... if you have shore power.... is the cube heater. You are not heating a really large space and surprisingly, the RVs are pretty tight and insulated.

Sometimes, its just make do at night and turn the 'cube' on for a bit in the morning to take the chill off the bath room.
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Old 10-07-2015, 11:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
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And if you stay at camp grounds with full hook ups, effective cost of electric heat for you is $0.
Well...DUUH!

The OP seemed to imply that energy cost was a factor in their question thus implying costs not associated with FHU daily/weekly rate when those items are included.
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Old 10-07-2015, 11:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
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And if you stay at camp grounds with full hook ups, effective cost of electric heat for you is $0.
.....not right now....I am staying at the Golden Village/Palms in Hemet California....they meter and charge for your electric use there so I am certainly paying for what I use....we had one cold morning but it will be in the 100's again this weekend.


Thanks for the calculations......I have always leaned more to wear and tear than cost of usage because ultimately when it breaks down you have to add that to the cost of usage as well but I want to make it last as long as possible as there is the point of having to do without.


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