Heat pump with oil auxiliary/backup?

Old 02-14-21, 05:46 PM
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 460
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Heat pump with oil auxiliary/backup?

I currently have an oil forced-air system for heat, and central AC. I need to replace the system, and one company suggested that I could go to heat pump, and instead of electric strips for aux/emergency heat, I could install a new oil forced-air furnace. However, this company provides oil delivery as well as equipment, so I'm sure they would love to keep me buying oil.

I have a heat pump/electric strip system for the other heating zone in the house, and I don't run aux/emergency too often. (I'm in Maryland, so winters aren't severe). The online calculators I've used indicate that HP/electric would be better than oil alone or HP/oil, but I don't know how they account for aux heat usage.

I'm also worried that maintenance for the oil side of things would add another layer of hassle. Currently, I go through about 450 gallons of oil per winter. If I switched to HP, how long would it take me to go through a 275 gallon tank? Would I have oil sitting there for years waiting to be used?

The only reason I can think of keeping oil is that I can currently run the oil furnace off of generator power. I don't think I'd be able to run the HP. But, knock on wood, the power situation has become a lot more stable since I had had the generator interlock installed.

Does the company's suggestion of HP with oil backup sound like something I should keep in mind, or does it sound more like a way to keep me buying oil from them?
Old 02-15-21, 10:15 AM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 254
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Use electric auxiliary backup - you're in Maryland so you should be mostly be heat pump only anyway ..
I bet you'll be glad to have left oil. .
Depending on the generator rating, it could handle the heat pump but probably not the Electric Auxiliary heaters .

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