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Old 11-15-2014, 01:58 PM   #1
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Are Heat Pumps Any Good??

Are these worth getting? I had a S&B years ago with one and it could never keep the house warm in winter or cool in the summer. In my current coach I did not get the heat pump option and we use our fireplace and/or an electric heater to keep from using the furnace. I use the furnace mainly when when the temps will be getting below freezing for the wetbay to be heated. It is not that much of a cost, but do they do any good?
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:00 PM   #2
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We love our heat pumps! We can use them until the temps get too low, then have to switch to LP. They save us a lot of money on LP!
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:01 PM   #3
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Here in the great Pacific North Wet they are used in a lot of stick houses. The temps are moderate here so they do have a great payback. Extreme temps either higher or lower will change that as they will always run in cooling mode when hot and need add'l heat when the temps get lower. Usually work till 40° although some will go lower.
That said, I wouldn't be without them!
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:10 PM   #4
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in a word YES
i replaced my carrier rear bedroom unit this summer with a 15,500 coleman air excell heat pump
we have been cold out the last few weeks, cold for us .
29F at night
the heat pump continues to pump out nice warm soft air and the whole coach is staying comfortable
i have the lp heat set low and it only comes on a few times and i bump it up in the am to warm the floor

in fact i ordered a new one for the front a/c unit on friday
its also helped tremendously in the humidity department
after a shower it only takes about 5 minutes to get the bathroom dry.
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:12 PM   #5
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The theory is that they are more efficient in moderate conditions. Probably true in execution as well. The problem is that they are only good when it is above freezing and maybe way above freezing. Consider how your dehumidifier frosts up. It is a heat pump cooling off the incoming air to condense out the moisture but it uses the same principles. The answer usually is to put electric strip heaters in as a backup but they can get pricey to run. In a MH the answer is usually a gas furnace instead due to the low electric capacity. Off hand I would say their worth depends on where one parks. If you are trying to stay out of winter they may be more efficient than electric or propane. If you are going below around 40 deg F much you get out of their working range.
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:18 PM   #6
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I was quite satisfied with my heat pumps, but as others noted they don't work too well once the temperature gets below 40º.

The only other issue is they can't push the hot air down to the floor very well when it's too cold.

I used a small space heater to supplement the heat pumps until it was too cold for the heat pumps. Then I switched to the propane furnace.
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Old 11-15-2014, 03:01 PM   #7
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Are they worth getting, no, I don't think so. We didn't have one on our 1st 2 5th wheels, we do have one on our 3rd 5th wheel. I'm not impressed. The furnace warms up the space much faster and the fireplace or space heater keeps it warm. You save $$ on propane, well, you are spending $$ on electricity so I don't see a difference. If I was going to get a new rv I would not get a heat pump.
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Old 11-15-2014, 03:28 PM   #8
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From an efficiency perspective heat pumps will deliver more BTU's of heat than will using the same amount of electricity in a heater/fireplace. But their efficiency drops significantly as the temperature falls towards freezing. The biggest complaint we've always had about them is that they deliver "low grade heat" that is, the temperature of the "warm" air is often below skin temperature so it always feels as if you are standing in a lukewarm or even cool breeze.

We wouldn't trade our diesel-fired hydronic heating system (with 4kW electric supplemental) for anything!
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Old 11-15-2014, 03:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
The theory is that they are more efficient in moderate conditions. Probably true in execution as well. The problem is that they are only good when it is above freezing and maybe way above freezing. Consider how your dehumidifier frosts up. It is a heat pump cooling off the incoming air to condense out the moisture but it uses the same principles. The answer usually is to put electric strip heaters in as a backup but they can get pricey to run. In a MH the answer is usually a gas furnace instead due to the low electric capacity. Off hand I would say their worth depends on where one parks. If you are trying to stay out of winter they may be more efficient than electric or propane. If you are going below around 40 deg F much you get out of their working range.
By "electric strip heaters" I assume that you mean heat strips that go inside the air cons? None of the RV heat pumps I know of are heat strips used in. They are used for air cons and they are low output only good for taking the chill off.
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Old 11-15-2014, 03:35 PM   #10
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...... well, you are spending $$ on electricity

Not always.....sometimes the electricity is not metered, and is just part of the park fee......better to save the LP for when temperatures are really cold.
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Old 11-15-2014, 03:44 PM   #11
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Our cold weather travel is very limited and in most cases it may only get down below freezing a few days a week on our month long trips. But our hot weather traveling is where it is normally in the upper 90's. Will a heat pump be able to keep the motorhome cool enough?
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Old 11-15-2014, 03:58 PM   #12
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If not being metered, daily or weekly, heat pumps are great. When the forecast is below 38, I just set the lp furnace. Above 38, they do blow out good warm/hot air.
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Old 11-15-2014, 04:11 PM   #13
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Love the heat pumps, wouldn't be without them. Out travel is similar to yours in moderate weather country and by using heat pumps we reduce our trips to the LPG station in CGs.
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Old 11-15-2014, 04:11 PM   #14
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I just love our geothermal heat pump system in our stick and brick house, now if I can just figure out how to install one in our coach.
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