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Old 02-09-2010, 05:35 PM   #1
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Heat pump and A/C combo. Good idea?

I am doing a total renovation and need to replace the furnace and A/C unit. I would really love to do away with the furnace and duct-work and get one roof unit that does it all. I'm not seeing a whole lot of posts on the subject (or maybe I'm not searching properly), but I want to know how well these units work. Pros and Cons? Recommendations? I would prefer to spend a little extra to get the best.
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:51 PM   #2
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There were a couple of theads about this recently. I am not 100% certain, but I think the uptake was that the heat pumps are handy and efficient when it is cool but not cold (40-60 maybe?) but not functional below that. So if you camp in temps below 40, it is not a viable heating alternative. I suspect you will not be able to go to a one-unit solution. Again, I am not sure about that so keep looking.
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:03 PM   #3
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That is correct about the outside temp. Also, the propane one I believe has ducts going under to keep things from freezing up??
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:04 PM   #4
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Interesting time for questions like this and another thread less than a week old, Do we need a Heater? Air to air heat pumps, like those in ACs work very well down to a certain point. I have one on Excella, a 15,000 Btu system. Somewhere in the 30's the heat pump becomes ineffective and the unit switches to alternate heat. My Carrier also has a heat strip, but it doesn't put out near the heat that comes from the heat pump. It is only supplemental heat at best.

Newer Airstreams that came with ducted AC systems and thermostats do not have the heat strip, the system switches to the furnace when the heat pump stops. Not an issue for you.

I have run the furnace several times this season, and looking at the forecast, plan to use it tonight. Realistically, there is not that much difference between the weather in Dallas and here in Little Rock. It doesn't get cold here, right? We had a beautiful sunny morning today!
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by adwriter73 View Post
.... I'm not seeing a whole lot of posts on the subject (or maybe I'm not searching properly), but I want to know how well these units work...
the h/p works fine within the temperature range for h/ps...

but it does NOT provide heat to the tanks, it's noisy, blows directly into the living space...

and needs ac juice.

i'd never consider buying (or equipping) a unit with only an electric heater of any sort.

much depends on when/where the unit is used.
________

even if plugged in for camping,

there is the issue of power OUTAGEs in the rv park or heat while towing or for short stops or

what to do when LOW VOLTAGE is present..

bunches of thread on this device here are a few...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...ace-38120.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...lts-17431.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...nit-42554.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...ump-59639.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...ion-44529.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...mbo-56616.html

the forced air lpgas furnaces (faf) are also loud but in a different way than ROOF mounted a/c.

the faf is inefficient but does heat the tanks; will run on 12v so heat's available in a wider range of conditions...

the faf is not terribly expensive and essential (imo) in all but the smaller trailers...

which can be kept warm with just a catalytic heater/s...

i'm in a park with marginal voltage right now and need just a bit of heat more than a space heater provides..

so using the heat pump is out but running the furnace at a LOW thermostat setting, fits the bill perfectly.

cheers
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:52 PM   #6
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We like ours

We have a heat pump, love it but limitations as stated previously. Its great when you are being cheap and power is included with the site. Gotta have the furnace also in our area though.
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:14 PM   #7
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Thanks for all your posts. I've read the other threads and now am a little more educated on the subject. It seems that an A/C with heat pump is nice when you have mild drops in temperature, but if you plan on being up north in the winter time, you need a furnace. Im not sure where all my travels will take me, but I want to be prepared. Was really hoping to get rid of the furnace to make room for extra storage. Oh well.
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:23 PM   #8
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You really will need the furnace. As mentioned, it circulates heat on the plumbing and tanks, something that the AC/Heat Pump just can't do. As 2air mentioned, it works off the batteries during a power failure too.

As far as up north goes, the first winter I moved from the panhandle to the hill country, there was a 12" snow in San Antonio.

You really wouldn't gain all that much storage from removing it, especially compared to the benefits from having a 12v propane furnace.
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:24 AM   #9
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Heat pump and A/C combo. Good idea?

Yes... ours has been very handy under the proper conditions.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:28 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by adwriter73 View Post
It seems that an A/C with heat pump is nice when you have mild drops in temperature, but if you plan on being up north in the winter time, you need a furnace.
Correct. My heat pump and furnace are also connected throught the thermostat. If I'm running the heat pump and the temperature drops below 35 (I think) degrees, it will shut off and start the furnace automatically. This is nice if sleeping and you don't want to get up and start the furnace. Also, the furnace eats propane so if camped at a full hookup spot, running the heat pump will save propane since it runs off AC.

I also have a portable catalytic propane heater made for indoor use (has a CO2 detector) that i use for daytime heating when boondocking. I would never run this at night while sleeping but is good for taking the chill off and saving battery power as the furnace will run your 12v batteries down quickly.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:55 AM   #11
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I would echo what others have said: Yes, you need 120 V, at high amps, loud inside, loud outside, only effective at warmer air temps.

In a 31' you should also consider that you would only get hot air in the front of the traylah.

If you are in a situation where propane is expensive or a hassle to obtain you could rewire for 50a so that you have the capacity to put in electric heat, whether portable or permanently installed. Not worth it in most cases though.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:50 PM   #12
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I had 2 15000 BTU A/Cs with heat pumps on my last M/H. H/P works well until about 36 degrees, then you need furnace. Furnace will also keep you from freezing water pipes etc. I prefer both furnace & H/P as this gives supplemental heat until temp gets way down. Takes two to tango as far as I'm concerned. I had a furnace quit once on my AS
trailer and I was glad to have the heat strip in the a/c. Backups man!
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