The two of us had to make so several decisions when both of us built our current home.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but perhaps our most pressing decision was the Heating and A/C system.
The trend in current construction seems to be energy efficiency, but most gas heating systems here where I lived are driven by electric or propane, however propane is very fancy here, so everyone opt for electric heat pumps. But, electric heat pumps don’t always work efficiently once the temperature drops below 40 degrees. The two of us don;t live in a chilly temperature, but both of us do get freezing weather. That’s where hybrid heating and cooling comes in. The two of us now get the best of what electric and propane can offer, because both of us opted for a hybrid Heating and A/C system. It is a dual fuel, dual fan speed system that combines an electric heat pump and a propane powered gas furnace. When it is above 40 degrees, our gas furnace uses the electric heat pump to moderate our home. When the temperature drops below 40, the alternative propane area of the system kicks in to do the heating. In addition to the dual fuel option, both of us also went with a dual fan system. When it’s mild and the beach house only needs to be warmed up by 10 or 15 degrees, the gas furnace conserves energy by using the lower fan speed. When it’s honestly cold, the higher speed setting kicks in to get the moderate air moving faster to where it needs to go. During our condo planning phase, both of us quoted this hybrid heat pump system would save us $1,200 to $1,500 a year in fuel costs over a conventional propane gas only gas furnace, which is a big deal to us. Hybrid heat pump systems are more fancy than traditional systems, but can pay for themselves in numerous to 5 years. But, in our case it was less than that. I was triumphant to find out while both of us were in a recent appraisal of our beach house that a hybrid heat pump system absolutely adds value to a home.