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Phil, Mechanical Engineer
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 8448
Experience:  Retired HVAC/ Electrical & Boiler contractor. Industrial
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Buying a house with a trane split system that is setup for

Customer Question

Buying a house with a trane split system that is setup for A/C only, and I'd like to add electric heat.
The house is two story and 1822 sq ft, and the unit says that the following may be installed into my unit:
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  Phil replied 9 months ago.

Hello, some heavy wiring will be required from the homes electrical breaker panel to the new heaters selected...that panel may or may be large enough to support your electric heat options.

We can discuss this, tell me if you intend to do this wiring and heating element installation yourself, and a lot about your skill sets.

We can go from there.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hi Phil,I'm not concerned with the wiring, please assume that whatever needs to be done can/will be done by myself or a professional.. just wanted an opinion as to which model would be best suited for the size of the house. Thank you.
Expert:  Phil replied 9 months ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** of the house is the determining factor, if your house is in south Florida, the lowest capacity heater strips will work, if the house is in North Dakota for example you will want to fit the largest set of heating elements.

It gets more complicated from there. If you need the heavier range of heating elements, it will be a good idea to set them so that they operate with as few heating elements running at one time as possible. (reason is to reduce your homes utility demand charges ... demand charges can double or triple your electric bill based on a 15 minute peak, then the demand charges kick in for the next 3 months)

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thanks Phil. The house is in Charlottesville, Virginia.. a moderate climate with snow a few times per year.
Expert:  Phil replied 9 months ago.

Depending on how your local electric utility bills these extra charges, they can double your monthly bill for the same exact amount of net usage.

I recommend three separate heating elements, staged by use of a two stage heat, and 1 stage of auxiliary heat... so that 90% of the time you will only be running one of the heating elements.

taken from bayhtr 1405 series

This is the cover of the selection manual showing your BAYHTR1405 series

This selection is in error to the undersized side, but will also keep your electric bill as low as possible.. This means that on an exceptionally windy cold day (once a year for just a few hours) you may run the house as low as 60F or 65F and suppliment with a one or two free standing portable electric heaters.

To size more exactly, a full load calculation on the house needs to be performed, that requires a visit, and measurements etc, most often performed by your local HVAC contractor.

Let me know what you think so far, we can go from there.

Expert:  Phil replied 9 months ago.

In my experience it is a tiny minority of HVAC contractors who are aware of the utility company demand charge (or tiered pricing) issues in their area and will over size the electric heat to avoid any complaints.... that approach can double your electric bill as explained earlier.