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Heat pumps are nothing more than reversible air conditioners. Their efficiency goes down with the outside temperature. Somewhere around 34 deg F the efficiency drops to 0 - that is, you put one unit of energy into the heat pump and you get one unit out. Below that break even point, (meaning below around 34 deg) you might put in two units of energy (electricity) to get your one unit of heat out. Most heat pumps that were installed for residential heating have auxiliary coils to provide heat when the temp drops low enough. The controls shut off the heat pump and power up the coils. Electric heat is 99% efficient - virtually all the energy you put into the unit comes out as heat. This is in contrast to an old early 1900's steam boiler which might have and efficiency of 30 or 40%, or a modern hot air furnace which can hit efficiencies in the high 90's.
 

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Auxiliary coils is exactly equal to emergency heat. The heat pump providing heat/cool is much less expensive to run than having to run the emergency heat.

In reference to Post#17, a heat pump normally can get a layer of frost, which goes away. It's part of the normal defrost cycle and outside temperature doesn't have much to do with it. If the frost remains for any length of time, that indicates something is broke and can lead to further damage if not corrected. It's really a good thing to have them inspected/serviced at least once a year.
 

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Auxiliary coils is exactly equal to emergency heat. The heat pump providing heat/cool is much less expensive to run than having to run the emergency heat.

In reference to Post#17, a heat pump normally can get a layer of frost, which goes away. It's part of the normal defrost cycle and outside temperature doesn't have much to do with it. If the frost remains for any length of time, that indicates something is broke and can lead to further damage if not corrected. It's really a good thing to have them inspected/serviced at least once a year.
Outdoor temperature and humidity affect the frosting on heat pumps. If your hp is running at 45deg ambient it’s going to produce less frost than at 35deg with same humidity level.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Ok so turn the heat pump back on. Got it.
As for the heating vent in the garage I found one I guess it was turned off all this whole time and I never knew it. Did some looking and figuring this evening if I’m going to go through the pain of moving the tank and well pressure tank I might as well re-plumb the whole house like I was going to anyway
Wife and I was talking and we agreed to take out the garage door and block up the wall, but this won’t be until after we build the barn/garage in about 5 years.


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Long story short we bought the house in June and are currently getting around to the basement remodel. Wife came up with the idea of moving the hot water tank to the garage.
It’s not heated but could easily put a vent in there. The furnace is in there and Iv yet to see anything freeze. It does get chilly but I think it would be ok. Also have a insulated garage door.
Also going to move more plumbing into there with the water tank.
Any thoughts on this? Thanks.


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Insulated pipes and add a water heater blanket. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to build a closet with a raised pedestal to elevate the tank off the ground. Insulate the walls of the closet and that would be helpful. I’m an appraiser and see this in numerous homes, old and new. Most are being out in a closed room built in the garage and they work well.
 

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I moved ours to my unheated tool room attached to the house. So far no problem at 15 degrees F. Even adds a little heat to the room if you stand close enough. The hot water line would freeze long before the tank.
 

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Good advice fellas, yes the tank is electric 80 gallon. It could be smaller but came with the house. Electric heat with a heat pump outside but I’m not using it I have the heat on emergency heat don’t want the pump to freeze up. Had one freeze on my moms house in early 2000 and they are a pain to thaw out.
The garage is to small to park average car in unless I get a civic or accord, so we park the tractor in there. As for fuel cans I keep them in the shed out back.
As for the plumbing it’s getting all reworked as part of this project anyway. Whole house only had one valve at the line coming into the wall and it’s all 1970 copper that starting to leak and turn green.


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Are you re-piping the plumbing? Are you using PEX ?
 
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