Heat Pumps & Mini-Splits
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– Oct 12, 2023(2 replies)
We are at the point in our home renovation where we need to cut out some of the scope. We have found some significant plumbing issues that we have to address, so we need to find the money somewhere. We were planning on replacing the defunct HVAC system with a ductless mini split system. But it is just too expensive at this point. We are insulating the walls and attic and replacing the windows and exterior doors. Our contractor recommended just putting in a few recessed electric heaters until we are ready to install the mini split system. Has anyone done this before, and can you share your experience? Are your PG&E bills astronomical in the winter? Is there another potential solution you would suggest? We could also do a gas wall furnace but running the gas lines and using a gas appliance seem like not the best direction from a sustainability point of view - but maybe I'm missing something. For weather context, the house is in west Berkeley.Oct 12, 2023
– Aug 12, 2023(11 replies)
Hi, we’re looking into replacing our aging furnace with a heat pump for heating and cooling. No current AC. Received a quote for a 3 ton Mitsubishi for 20k including all permits and replacing all ducts. 1200 sq ft house in Oakland. Anyone done something similar? Is this a reasonable offer? Anyone have HVAC company recs? Thanks!Aug 12, 2023
– Apr 13, 2023(2 replies)
I have decided on a ductless heat pump mini-split system for my house and I’m thrilled.
I’m keeping, for now, the very old gas gravity floor heater which heats the front part of my house.
What I’m adding is a Mitsubishi 3-zone system to heat/cool the three other rooms in my split-level house. (Bedrooms, office).
The two downstairs rooms will get square registers (cassettes) in the center of the ceilings. The upstairs split-level bedroom will get a wall mounted unit. Each zone heat pump will be 9k BTUs.
I’ve gotten quotes for a 24 and 30 BTU outdoor condenser system.
Any pros and cons to the condenser size? Prices, footprint, and sound aren’t that different. I don’t want to oversize and waste energy.
About the controllers: most folks get “remotes” which generally I don’t care for. I dont want to be dependent on an app for temp control, either. I’d like a hard-wired, walk-mounted, programmable thermostat with override and on/off capability like I have for my gas heater. Has anyone used this kind of control?
Also, they offer special filters which sounds great as I want indoor protection during future smoke events.
Any feedback and personal experiences would be so appreciated!Apr 13, 2023
– Dec 22, 2022(1 reply)
Would you be willing to let us come check it out? We are electrifying our house and will be installing a heat pump, but our contractor is encouraging us to get a variable speed heat pump (which is more $$ and seems like it might be overkill for Berkeley climate). Would be great to hear about a two-stage pump in action first. I hear they are louder but don’t know how loud that is.Dec 22, 2022
– Dec 13, 2022(4 replies)
Hello, does anyone know if there are regulations that govern Berkeley residents for where on our property we can install a condenser for a heat pump, i.e., not within 3 feet of the property line, not in the front yard, etc.? I've been searching the regulations with no luck.Dec 13, 2022
– Oct 16, 2022(2 replies)
Hi -- I'm hoping to get insights and recommendations from the smart group of people here. I'm also hoping that sharing this information with quote amounts helps others and maybe also encourages others to move towards heat pumps. Context -- My 22 yr old water heater should be replaced soon so I looked at replacing my furnace as well. My home - 1400 sq ft on top flor with a 300 sq foot room on the bottom floor that is next to the garage and is built into the hill. I wanted to zone the top floor separately from the bottom floor and got 3 quotes below and have included my electric and gas usage over the last year.
Questions I have: Do these look inline with current costs? Though the warranties are for 12 years, how long should they last? I'm hoping that this will help keep my pge bills low -- any insights? Is the technology where it needs to be or are advancements anticipated in the next few years? What do people do when the electricity goes out? Are there questions I should ask the vendors? For rebates, etc. I've checked Bayren -- does anyone have thoughts about what new rebates we might get in 2023 and how to stay on top of newly available options? I'm looking to move forward with the 3rd option but feel I need to do my homework if I'm going to spend that amt of money and hope that this amt of detail with quotes can help others.
I greatly appreciate all help and recommendations!
quote 1: $20k after incentives/rebates. dual fuel furnace and water heater -- not sure if this is truly better for the environment
quote 2: $30k for a single zone system. Equipment includes AMUG36LMAS Indoor. AOUG36LMAS1 Outdoor Fujitsu 36,000 BTU Ducted Minisplit 208-230V Inverter Heat Pump System Single Zone. R-410A. Warranty: 12 years Parts, 5 years Labor SEER: 18 EER: 11.3 HSPF: 10.2 -- AND -- 50 Gallon Electric Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater (DHW) 30AMP Ruud Professional Ultra PROUH50 3.55 Efficiency Warranty: 10 Years Tank, 10 Years Parts & 5 Year Labor
quote 3: $31k for top floor heat pump with a mini split for bottom floor supported by the heat pump. Equipment included. Inverter Comfort System - 24 kBTU- Complete design and installation of a multi zone inverter heat pump. Mitsubishi* MXZ-3C24NA3 outdoor unit and SVZ-KP18NA air handler (located in place of existing furnace) and MSZ-GL09NA wall-mount for the downstairs bedroom. This unit will utilize existing ductwork --- AND -- 65 Gallon Heat Pump Water Heater (Bradford White) - Installation of a Bradford White self-contained heat pump water heater with a 65-gallon tank. Includes all necessary piping requirements including shut off and isolation valves, thermostat controller, and earthquake straps.
My pge usage from the past year:
Electric: ~350 - 450 kwh/month with 2 winter months at 625 kwh
Gas -- 8months below 15 therms. 3m @ 30 therms and 1m@ 50 thermsOct 16, 2022
– Sep 23, 2022(3 replies)
I’m wondering if anyone out here in eco Berkeley land has successfully installed a heat pump to run their radiant heating system. Currently we have a gas water heater that heats the water in the Pex in the floors. It seems like the larger HVAC companies don’t want to do anything that involves heat pumps and water systems. We have talked to a small shop who said he could do it but it seemed rather experimental territory. Wondering if anyone has done this successfully and has any advice or wisdom or recommendations to share? Thanks so much!!Sep 23, 2022
– Sep 6, 2022(2 replies)
Hi! We've noticed an increase in moisture in our house since installing a heat pump (+ humidity outside has been higher lately) and have been advised to install a vapor barrier, which we know nothing about. Anyone have one recently installed? Any recommendations on who to reach out to whether this is the kind of project that warrants multiple estimates or can offer any other advice on how to proceed? Thanks!Sep 6, 2022
– Sep 1, 2022(6 replies)
We are considering installing a Fujitsu 4 ton heat pump but we are limited in where we can place the unit. We are concerned about the potential noise and whether it may negatively impact our enjoyment of precious little outdoor space we have.
Our only options are to place the unit by the living room window, next to patio or in front of a deck. All of these places are frequently used by us for all seasons.
I would love to hear about your experience with heat pump and how noisy it actually is. Thank you.Sep 1, 2022
– Mar 13, 2022(2 replies)
Since installing our new heat pump about 8 mo. ago, we're now finding we have a mold issue that we have no idea how to cope with. We've seen signs of mold in three closets (along the baseboards and destroying a few clothing/cloth-covered items, in spite of keeping Damp Rid bags and leaving them constantly open to ventilate. More recently, I've had to toss an old book on an open bookshelf covered in white mold and found a few days ago a fuzz of mold on a basket also kept out in the open. So our mold issue extends beyond badly ventilated areas. I'm trying not to (fully) panic yet, especially with two small kids in the house, but what do we do?
The heat pump settings are such that we can't run the dehumidifier function AND heat (dumb). Is there a better solution than running multiple de-humidifiers in several rooms at all times? Do we need to hire mold cleaners (who quoted one tiny closet measuring about 5x5' several months ago at $1,500+) as part of this? Is anyone affordable? Is there someone we can consult for structural changes that would reduce/eliminate the likelihood of mold throughout our house?
What do we do? Heeeeeeeeelp!!Mar 13, 2022
– Sep 11, 2021(4 replies)
There are a few older postings on this, but I wondered what the latest information might be. We live in a 30 year old condo with a forced air gas furnace in the attic, and want to switch to a heat pump. We would love advice as to what is involved (e.g., do we need an electrician involved to also run higher voltage in), and even better, who we might trust to do it for us. We're trying to be more energy efficient and all that, our gas furnace is aging and replacing it with another gas furnace seems climate unfriendly.
Thanks a lot!
[moderator note] Here is a recent discussion about AC that recommended heat pumps: Seeking alternatives to installing central ACSep 11, 2021
– Oct 23, 2020(7 replies)
We are considering replacing our central gas furnace with a ducted mini-split heat pump and wanted to hear how others' experience with ducted heat pumps has gone. Does it provide enough cooling on the occasional hot summer days? Is it noticeably noisier than a gas furnace?Oct 23, 2020
– Oct 11, 2019(2 replies)
We need to replace our heating system and are looking for any recommendations for heating companies that install high efficiency heat pump systems. If you have had one installed and are happy with the work and price, it would be wonderful to hear your experience (and the cost!).
Thank you!Oct 11, 2019
We swapped out our ancient gas furnace for an electric ducted mini split system and got quotes from a few installers and Hassler was definitely the most expensive. We went with Kevin Armstrong who is a solo practitioner (chis ompany name is Specialized Heating and air conditioning (510) 886-5853). Kevin was recommended by the minisplit distributor company who told us that Kevin is the guy they call when people's mini split systems are installed incorrectly and Kevin fixes them. He did a great job, was inexpensive and when we had a problem several years later, he came over on a weekend and fixed it quickly. We didn't have heating ducts prior to installing the mini split, so Kevin did all that duct work. Six years later we're totally happy with what he did. (And he was probably 30% -40% less than Hassler).
Atlas heating and cooling installed our mini split system. Reliable, good communication, good work and follow up when we had a few minor issues while it was under warranty. System is working well. I think the price was fair, too.
I’m having a Mitsubishi mini-split system installed right now, for just the two upstairs bedrooms. Cheapest quote from reputable installer (Nahman) was $18k. Others ranged up to $22k. I’m having ducts installed in the ceiling (from the attic space), rather than those big wall units, which I hate. But price is not much different for either. Mini-splits do both heating and cooling, meaning I could get rid of the baseboard heaters in those rooms, which is also nice.
We've been getting estimates for a heat pump to replace our gas furnace, which would also provide cooling for "free" (the heating process is just reversed). The mini split is a heat pump for one room only - you see them in hotel rooms mounted under a window or high on the wall. They are getting more popular and easier to find. Most of the major plumbing and HVAC companies can give you an estimate to install a heat pump or mini split now. As renewable energy becomes cheaper and more available, electric heating is going to be a lot cleaner than gas, and some cities like Berkeley are starting to ban natural gas in new construction. So electric heat pumps are the way to go for the future.
The City of Berkeley recently co-hosted an online "Green House tour" of local homeowners who have installed various appliances that don't use natural gas, including heat pumps, induction cooking, clothes dryers, etc. It's really informative - there is a video of one family in Lafayette that installed mini-splits in every room along with lots of other eco features. In all the videos, the owners walk you through their house explaining what they did, and why, how much it cost, who their contractor was. There is a list of the houses here: https://www.eastbaygreenhome.com/sites - click a house to see what brands and contractors they used. To view the videos of each house, go on youtube and search "east bay green home tour"
We live in a 1500 sf house and just got our entire HVAC system replaced with heat pump system that takes advantage of the mild climate here to provide heat and cooling without relying on gas (all electric). It cost $16k, including entirely replacing the duct system in the house. Let me know if you want the name of our contractor.