Homes that have older ductwork and a forced air furnace can be tricky sometimes. On the surface it makes sense to take out the old forced air oil furnace and replace it with a ducted heat pump, but is that the best choice?
We need to first look at what some of the short comings are of having a ducted heating system in your home.
You Don’t Have Zoning
Most homes that have forced hot air heat don’t have any zoning systems setup. What do I mean by that? Well they’re home heating system is either on and blowing heat or it’s not. You don’t have the choice to just turn it on upstairs in the bedrooms or on the main floor.
In most older homes the thermostat is on the main level and the temperature of that level dictates the temperature for the rest of the house.
You’re paying to Heat Your Whole House Not Just one Level
The draw back here is you’re paying to heat parts of your home that you aren’t in at the moment. When oil was less expensive this wasn’t such a horrible problem, but today with oil prices steadily climbing year after year we want to conserve as much as possible.
If we replace your old ducted hot air furnace with a ducted heat pump system you’ll be saving a BIG chunk of money since you’re no longer paying to produce heat, you’re only paying to move it around (remember heat pumps extract heat from the outdoor air they don’t create it).
Built in Back-up System
Another perk to ducted heat pump systems is they have a built in back-up.
Not all home owners are aware of this, but you must have a back up system to your heat pump since it only works down to -15. That backup needs to be something that doesn’t require a human to turn it on or off such as a propane fireplace or pellet stove.
In homes that have electric baseboard they’re able to keep their electric baseboards as a backup to a heat pump.
In the case of a ducted system there is an electric heater element inside the unit which turns on to produce heat for your home when the outdoor temperature drops below what the heat pump can produce heat for.
So while a ducted heat pump system doesn’t solve your issue of no zoning it does drastically cut your cost of heating your house hold all together and is a far superior choice to home heating oil.
What Other Options Are There?
In our next post, Part 2 – What is the Best Heat Pump Solution for a Home with a Forced Hot Air Furnace?, we’ll look at other alternatives to a ducted heat pump for your home.
Something to keep in mind is just because you have ductwork in your home doesn’t mean you must use it. We’ve installed Ductless mini splits in homes that have ductwork and we’ll look at the pros and cons of that in our next post.
For now, if you’re interested in discussing your home heating options with use give us a call or submit the form to the right of this page to schedule an in home evaluation.