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Author Topic: Roof Top Heat Pumps  (Read 2690 times)
scanzel
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« on: December 11, 2007, 11:46:28 AM »

Do roof top air heat pump units really provide good heat when needed or are they not worth the added expense when buying. I will have a Proheat, but thought the heat pumps might be good until the Proheat needs to take over.
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Steve Canzellarini
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DavidInWilmNC
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2007, 11:53:11 AM »

My 15K Btu Carrier puts out a lot of heat above 38 or so.  Below that, the 1500 watt heat strips come on (and don't do much).  I think the heat pump option was around $90 or so more than straight cooling on my unit.  It seemed like a good deal to me.  If you're on park power, and it's above 38, it makes a lot more sense than using $3.50/ gallon diesel for heating.

David
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2007, 11:59:42 AM »

Hi Steve,

David has givin you good advice.  The HP option is also a good back-up to your Proheat. ..you never know??

Good Luck
Nick-
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ChuckMC9
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2007, 01:27:20 PM »

Best decision I ever made. Unless you are in a region where it's *always* freezing, where they won't do you any good.

This season, I've used propane about four hours, and the HPs hundreds. And one of them does the job all the time. I don't think I've ever had to turn on both at once. I use one in the daytime and the other at nite. These are 15K Carriers, but most brands probably perform about the same.

Do it, and don't look back.
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NJT5047
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2007, 06:47:53 PM »

My 15K Btu Carrier puts out a lot of heat above 38 or so.  Below that, the 1500 watt heat strips come on (and don't do much).  I think the heat pump option was around $90 or so more than straight cooling on my unit.  It seemed like a good deal to me.  If you're on park power, and it's above 38, it makes a lot more sense than using $3.50/ gallon diesel for heating.

David

Ditto.  I have two Dometic heat pumps (15K cool/12K heat) that work great down to about 40*.  One unit, the front easily warms the bus 95% of the time.    Below about 38*, no good.   We have an LP RV Hydroflame and a little Pelonis plug in heater for backup.  I've never used the Hydroflame.  We have rarely encountered freezing conditions.   
Mine are about 6 years old, and have been problem free....so far!
Separate wall thermostats allow maintaining a stable temp in the coach. 
Another thing to think about is insulation.  The Pelonis will maintain heat in my bus in below freezing weather...'cause I got foam, dual pane windows, and heavy windshield drapes.   This would be different with standard insulation and windows.
While you are building, insulate what you can...payback will be appreciated. 
As David sez, operating a ProHeat with today's diesel prices could be expensive.  However, your ProHeat is a nice heating unit...nice engine heater too.   
Regards,  JR

 
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
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« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2007, 10:33:36 AM »

Heat pumps have a secret that some don't know about.  Reduce the air to the indoor section and you can operate at a lower outside temperature.  Think about it.  Bill T.
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cody
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« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2007, 11:12:20 AM »

We have 2 carrier 15K heat pumps on the roof and like the others said, they work great down to about 40F.  One thing that hasn't been mentioned is how loud they are, the fans are quite powerful and the noise level is fairly high, at night we use the front one and during the daytime when we're in the front section of the bus, we use the rear one so it's workable.  One at a time works well when we're hooked up to 30 amp service but to use both at the same time we would be better off with a 50 amp set up.
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ChuckMC9
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« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2007, 11:50:31 AM »

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is how loud they are, the fans are quite powerful and the noise level is fairly high

You are right about that one, buddy. But the hidden benefit is that you don't hear nuthin' of those scalawag neighbors and all their shenanagans and goings on. It's actually a feature, not a bug! (as they say in the computer world) And it's no worse than summertime, so I'm used to it by now.
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2007, 07:16:06 PM »

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is how loud they are, the fans are quite powerful and the noise level is fairly high

You are right about that one, buddy. But the hidden benefit is that you don't hear nuthin' of those scalawag neighbors and all their shenanagans and goings on. It's actually a feature, not a bug! (as they say in the computer world) And it's no worse than summertime, so I'm used to it by now.

Yep.  You'll know when they are running.  Dometics (other may too) offer a choice of function...fan on all the time, fan on with heat or cool, hi or low, etc. 
Terri and I like the noise at night.  Don't find it a bother during the day either...after so many years in RVs, reckon we're used to the noise.   
Obviously, we use a lot more cool than heat.  They are great on hot days.  You can FEEL the cool when rooftops are running.  And, you'll feel the heat too.  They put out hot air.  Unlike home style heat pumps that I'm aquainted with.  Above 45* or so, they make good heat. 
As Cody says, we only use one unit for the most of our needs.  One unit will heat the bus until it gets too cold to use.   Generally one unit will cool the bus too.  We almost never run the rear unit. 
Only after driving a long way on  100* day.  Then it gets a little time.   Once cooled down, one unit will maintain the coach. 
I'd go with the heat pump for the small difference in price. 
JR
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2007, 08:31:12 PM »

Reporting in:

31 outside, 69 inside. That's with ONE HP running. Almost 40 differential. I didn't know that was possible.

One HP only, with the heating element that comes on at freezing or so.

But I don't expect to wake up to 69 - we'll see!


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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2007, 08:47:22 PM »

Quote from: ChuckMC9
You are right about that one, buddy. But the hidden benefit is that you don't hear nuthin' of those scalawag neighbors and all their shenanagans and goings on. It's actually a feature, not a bug! (as they say in the computer world) And it's no worse than summertime, so I'm used to it by now.

HEY we resemble that remark! LOL! Opps! Maybe that's we resent that remark! LOL! Grin
Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2007, 07:09:11 AM »

Yeah, it depends on where you are. To some of the occupants, I'm the strange person in an old bus who's always working on that old pile all the time. To others who are in old beat-up 5ers and TT's, I'm the guy with the big comfortable bus. One man's ceiling, another's floor, etc...

This morning, 25 out / 55 in, with just the heatstrip from one unit all nite long. I can live with that. A quick blast of propane and all's toasty again.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2007, 07:57:06 AM by ChuckMC9 » Logged
Dallas
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« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2007, 07:39:26 AM »

Here in NW TN, the temp this morning is around 30 and our 2 1500W space heaters are keeping the inside of our 4103 a toasty 76.

One is on low and the other is on high. We also have 3 fans running to distribute the air throughout the bus, otherwise the floor gets somewhat less than comfortable.

We've been in temps as low as -8F and the two heaters will keep the interior in the 50 to 60 range, depending on the wind. As Chuck says, a blast of heat from the propane cook stove while fixing breakfast brings it all back up to comfy levels again.

Keep Warm!

Dallas
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ChuckMC9
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« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2007, 08:10:34 AM »

Update: the compressor just cut back in this morning, at 34, after a nite of declaring itself off-duty.
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cody
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« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2007, 08:16:23 AM »

I spend a fair amount of time in dallases bus and it is really quite warm in there, but I notice dallas does a lot of talking, unlike BK who is very quiet and shy, I'm wondering if the two electric heaters would really be needed when the BS sesssions get going hot and heavy. lol Libby just told me I may want to watch my step now, dallas will be out for revenge lol.
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2007, 09:31:58 AM »

Here in NW TN, the temp this morning is around 30 and our 2 1500W space heaters are keeping the inside of our 4103 a toasty 76.

One is on low and the other is on high. We also have 3 fans running to distribute the air throughout the bus, otherwise the floor gets somewhat less than comfortable.

We've been in temps as low as -8F and the two heaters will keep the interior in the 50 to 60 range, depending on the wind. As Chuck says, a blast of heat from the propane cook stove while fixing breakfast brings it all back up to comfy levels again.

Keep Warm!

Dallas

Dallas, I have read several places in the past that a six or eight inch clay flower pot inverted over a gas range burner does a great job in converting the burner into a great heater. I never really needed to try it, so I do not know for sure. How about running a test as see if it really makes a difference?

Richard
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Dallas
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« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2007, 03:02:50 PM »

Here in NW TN, the temp this morning is around 30 and our 2 1500W space heaters are keeping the inside of our 4103 a toasty 76.

One is on low and the other is on high. We also have 3 fans running to distribute the air throughout the bus, otherwise the floor gets somewhat less than comfortable.

We've been in temps as low as -8F and the two heaters will keep the interior in the 50 to 60 range, depending on the wind. As Chuck says, a blast of heat from the propane cook stove while fixing breakfast brings it all back up to comfy levels again.

Keep Warm!

Dallas

Dallas, I have read several places in the past that a six or eight inch clay flower pot inverted over a gas range burner does a great job in converting the burner into a great heater. I never really needed to try it, so I do not know for sure. How about running a test as see if it really makes a difference?

Richard

Richard,

We might try that if I can pry Donna's (BK's Mom) fingers from around some of her precious pots. I'm not sure it will matter much with the temps we're in because we seldom run the stove except for cooking. That's why it works so well in the morning. There's nothing like the smell of bacon or sausage and fried taters and eggs to warm a person up first thing in the A.M..

For those that have propane ovens, we had a difficult time baking in the camper sized unit because no matter where you put the rack, one part of what ever was baking would burn and the rest would be raw. Our fix for the problem was to add 2 - 12" x 12" terracotta tiles to the floor of the oven as added mass for the burner to heat up. Now we have no problem with burning... I can burn everything evenly.

Cody,
Just wait 'till you come over the next time... I'll make sure I spread my cold virus to you. After all, what are friends for?

Dallas
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TomC
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« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2007, 10:35:33 AM »

Just got back from Las Vegas where it was in the low 30's every night.  Being hooked up to 50 amps, I ran a portable electric Vornado heater (with tip over switch) all the time.  It made for a nice 70 degrees inside, but when it lost ground had the propane heater set at 65 to help out.  If I had two of the electric heaters, the propane heat would have never come on.  Personally- a portable heater is a whole lot cheaper than the heat pump option and a whole lot quieter.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2007, 07:40:10 PM »

Dallas,
     I am curious about your tiles in the oven idea.  Did you actually line the bottom with the tiles and just sit them there one on top of the other?
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Dallas
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« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2007, 08:02:55 PM »

Dallas,
     I am curious about your tiles in the oven idea.  Did you actually line the bottom with the tiles and just sit them there one on top of the other?

We just used 2 12"X12" tiles one on top of the other on the floor of the upper part. It lets the oven cycle less and keeps the temps more uniform.
Now we can bake bread without burning the bottom or having the inside raw.

Dallas
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2007, 08:25:48 AM »

I mentioned the clay flower pot idea for those who need some supplemental heating occasionally and use one of the range burners to provide some additional heat in the bus. It is my understanding that the clay pot absorbs the heat from the gas burner and then radiates the heat out into the coach to provide a much better conversion of the heat from the burner.

Richard
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« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2007, 09:48:47 AM »

Lets not forget that when we are running a gas burner we are creating carbon monoxide and need proper ventilation. Don't want to find a bunch of dead boddies in a closed up bus in Walmarts parking lot.
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Steve Canzellarini
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Dallas
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« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2007, 10:37:33 AM »

Lets not forget that when we are running a gas burner we are creating carbon monoxide and need proper ventilation. Don't want to find a bunch of dead boddies in a closed up bus in Walmarts parking lot.

That's why we usually only use the gas stove for heat while cooking something else.
After all, not only is being warm nice, but, fresh, hot, oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip cookies get my tummy tum nice and comfy too!

Dallas
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« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2007, 07:43:03 PM »

That's why we usually only use the gas stove for heat while cooking something else.
After all, not only is being warm nice, but, fresh, hot, oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip cookies get my tummy tum nice and comfy too!

Dallas


YUM YUM!  COOKIES and beer...ummm, malt beverage!  What's a few dead bodies when they interfere with fresh baked COOKIES!!!   I suppose WalMart  would have a problem with finding dead busnuts (or any other nuts?) lying about in their parking lot.  We wish to avoid that!  Cheesy
Install a couple CO detectors and bake!  And stay warm.   Wink

JR


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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
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« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2007, 10:16:52 PM »

Tom,

Just got back from Las Vegas where it was in the low 30's every night.  Being hooked up to 50 amps, I ran a portable electric Vornado heater (with tip over switch) all the time.  It made for a nice 70 degrees inside, but when it lost ground had the propane heater set at 65 to help out.  If I had two of the electric heaters, the propane heat would have never come on.  Personally- a portable heater is a whole lot cheaper than the heat pump option and a whole lot quieter.  Good Luck, Tom

I am with you there.  I used those for years and loved it.  Also, ran a small/tiny fan directed at the ceiling and that destratified the air in the entire 30 foot coach.  That meant my feet were as warm as my head. (but my head still smelled better) ( mostly cause that is where my nose is located)

I also heated with a propane furnace and that appliance amazed me.  So much heat from that little tiny box and it didn't cost much to operate.  If it weren't for heating that engine and hot water a ProHeat wouldn't be on my list at all.

Thanks again Tom,

John

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