Lessons Learned from an Air-Source Heat Pump with Fuel Oil Integrated System


MEDIA Heat Pump With Fuel Tank

The author’s air-source heat pump resembles an air conditioning unit, and it pictured here alongside one of the heating oil fuel tanks. Photos by Adam D. Bearup

The following story covers our recent upgrade to an air-source heat pump, which works in conjunction with our fuel oil furnace. The efficiency of heat pumps has improved in recent years and most of our building projects that do not have access to natural gas now have propane forced-air furnaces with heat pumps instead. The heat pumps provide heat and can help to conserve propane.

The heat pump that I am writing about is an air-source heat pump and it looks very similar to a conventional air conditioning condenser unit like those that sit outside of a house. According to the United States Department of Energy, “an air source heat pump can deliver one-and-a-half to three times more heat energy than the electrical energy it consumes”.

An air-source heat pump is efficient, because it does not generate heat, but rather, it transfers heat. The heat pump unit that sits outside of the house pulls heat out of the outside air — even if the temperature is below freezing — and puts the heat into the house. In the summer, the heat pump reverses its action and will cool the house. Keep in mind that if you currently have a propane forced-air furnace, then this story may apply to you as well. This is our story.

The Cost of Heating an Old Farmhouse with Oil

We have lived in our old farmhouse for nearly 10 years, and it took this long to finally decide how to combat the expensive fuel bills that we pay each year to heat our house. When I say “heat our house,” what I really mean is to keep our bedroom at 67 degrees Fahrenheit (the thermostat is in the bedroom) and the rest of the house is what it is. We do run a wood burner in the living room area of our house to keep that area warm. We have an older forced-air furnace that uses fuel oil.

4/13/2021 3:50:42 PM

We just had the fuel oil company call and wonder why we didn't buy fuel oil this winter! After the entire winter of heating, we still have over 1/2 of our tank of fuel oil left, we are so excited! Kudos to you Tom Adam Bearup

4/10/2021 3:40:44 PM

We are halfway to relying exclusively on heat pumps and keeping our oil system only for emergency back to be powered by our Prius as a generator. The first year using 2 pumps our electric bill increased $800, but our oil usage went down 600 gallons, or $1500. That's an 8% return, but more importantly a savings of 14,400 pounds of CO2. We paid cash and had them installed, but the cost of the loan would have been less than the $120 a month we save on average.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters