Originally Posted by Mr_D
On ours it's lower than that, somewhere around 34° and they work great here in the NW with our mild winters. Have two of them in the MH and had one in the stick house for almost 25 years.
I'm constantly seeing people posting that heat pumps will not work below 45 degrees yet there are people, such as you, who post that their's work well down into the low thirties. I'm thinking that the actual figure may be brand dependent; some brands may work better than others.
I had a heat pump on a mobile home that worked well down into the twenties without any heat strips.
All the Cheap Heat detractors I've seen so far are hung up on its initial cost. Yes, it is expensive. So what? Lincolns cost more than Fords, yet people still buy them. If one is happy with a Ford, then don't waste money on the Lincoln. The same goes for electric heating systems. If you are happy with portable heaters laying about, then Cheap Heat isn't for you. If you prefer to have all your heating controls integrated, not have portable heaters in the way, need heat in the basement, etc. then Cheap Heat may be a better choice for you.
How economical Cheap Heat is depends on individuals needs and where they camp. Someone who will be moving frequently may be paying a flat rate for their electricity included in their space rent, essentially making electric heat free. The savings realized then is dependent on the cost of propane. It may take longer to realize pay back on Cheap Heat than on portable heaters (depending on how often they have to be replaced) but the return on that is increased convenience. Cheap Heat works off the existing furnace thermostat. All one sees of the Cheap Heat is a switch, usually mounted by or near the thermostat, that allows the user to choose gas heat or electric heat.
People who do not get "free" electricity, such as long term campers, snow birds, etc., and have their electricity metered may or may not realize any long term savings from using electric heat. It would depend on the cost of electricity vs. the cost of propane.
Saving money is not the only reason for getting a Cheap Heat. Often, for various reasons, propane is difficult or impossible to obtain. Cheap Heat is a convenient, practical substitute for propane heat. Portable heaters are another substitute but aren't as convenient and/or as practical. It depends upon individual needs and tastes. Some people may just prefer the convenience of not having to frequently refill propane bottles and are willing to pay for that convenience. I'm getting too old to lug around propane bottles (in fact, I'm laid up right now with a pulled hip muscle; ouch!) so when I get my TT and start full timing, installing a Cheap Heat will be well worth the expense.
Heat pumps are far more efficient (i.e. less expensive to use) than resistance heating but, due to the initial cost, it doesn't make sense to replace A/Cs that are working just fine. If one is buying a new RV and heat pumps are an option (or you can buy the RV without A/Cs and have the heat pumps installed), then getting them would make sense. The same is true when replacing a failed or failing A/C. The cost difference between the two isn't that much. The thermostats for heat pumps are designed to switch over to gas heat when the outside temperature drops below the temperature the heat pump is rated for. Of course, if one has the Cheap heat installed and sets it for electric heat, then the heat pump will revert to resistance heating when it gets too cold for the heat pump. When I get my TT, I'll either order it with heat pumps or without A/Cs and install the heat pumps myself (I'll also get the Cheap Heat for when temperatures get too low for the heat pumps; the heat strips available for them are too small to do much good). Even if I have buy the TT with an A/C and remove it, since it will be brand new, I should be able to sell it for a decent price.
Cheap Heat now has a Stand-a-lone unit available that doesn't need to be installed on a furnace. This would allow one to install ducted resistance heating when there isn't room to install the original Cheap Heat. Another option for the new unit is if one wants to completely abandon gas heat altogether. The Stand-a-lone unit will require less maintenance than an idle gas furnace. The Stand-a-lone unit also simplifies installation of electric heat in an all electric RV since it doesn't have to mounted on an outside wall.
Btw, I am not a dealer.