Saturday, August 15, 2009

Heat Pumps in this Texas Heat? YES!

In June, I asked my neighborhood group for advice about a heat pump for an all-electric condo. Advice ranged from "don't do it," "only works in deserts," "to do it," "you'll save up to 75%."

Well, I went ahead and did it: had Strand Brothers install a Lennox heat pump (heat pumps are the only AC system that the City of Austin will give a rebate on for all-electric condos.) Also got 10 more inches of insulation in the attic, new duct-work, larger duct outlets in the upstairs bedrooms, an additional air intake opening to the indoor AC unit, and solar screens. The new AC system takes a 2" filter that needs changing only every 3 months.

Results: we went from using 2728 KWHs in June, to 1404 KWHs in July. Electricity cost went from $300. 61 to $147.18. The new heat pump was installed 7/6; but the insulation, new ducts, duct-work and solar screens were installed 7/21. Because the weather was equally hot in June and July, and no other variables changed, we are expecting even more savings in next month's bill because of the increased attic insulation and solar screens.

Plus, all the crew members from Strand Brothers were very professional and took tremendous pride in the work they were doing.

The rebates are still coming in, but we expect that they will cover about 30% of the cost of the installation.