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I am curious to know if anyone has installed a heat pump in this area, to provide BOTH heating and cooling, with the typical ductwork.

I realize an AC unit, whether central or a "split" is essentially a heat pump, without the ability to reverse the direction of the temperature change. And, having had heat pumps up north, I am not asking for general heat pump info, other than where someone might actually buy one in this area.

While many people find no need for either cooling or heating more than a fan or a fireplace, lots of fans, an sweaters, that doesn't help with the humidity during the wet season or for rooms with less ventilation and no fireplace. I have been told that people don't put in central systems with ductwork because they don't want mold to form in the ducts. I wonder whether this is a fear that makes nobody try it, or in fact people have tried it and, even with a humidistat in the system to take moisture out of the air, they still had mold problems.

So, I am interested in

Where, preferably in the area, they might sell heat pumps and do duct installation work?

Whether there are people who have put a heating/cooling/moisture control heat pump in their home in the Boquete area, and how it has worked out for them.

If the heat pump idea doesn't work, I am wondering whether anyone has installed a "split" that can be used to heat OR cool.

Thanks!

 

 

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Curious - why would you need to either heat or cool when the temps in Boquete are usually between 65 and 80?  Do you live at a very high altitude, or a very low one? 

Edited by JudyS

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Neither.

Some people are more sensitive to heat or cold than others. We are also not crazy about the humidity either, and a heat pump could solve that problem and eliminate the need to run dehumidifiers, fans, etc.  

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I should add that, my neighbor across the street is still warm and wearing shorts when we may be wearing a long sleeved shirt under a hoodie, especially when it is windy.

A heat pump where you can set the temperature and humidity level for inside the house, seems an ideal solution (if you ignore the operating costs and construction hassles). 

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We do understand about personal sensitivities to heat, cold, humidity, dryness, etc. A good friend moved back to the USA because of such an issue. There are two sides to this story, however. Recommend that you do some due diligence regarding utility bills for this kind of equipment before making such a commitment.

Posted by someone who typically has $200/month electric bills, and we have no heating or air conditioning (nor swimming pool, etc.).

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Thanks Bud, I am familiar with utility bills and costs here... but not how many hours a day a heat pump would have to be on in this climate.    

I find your bill unusually high. It is about twice mine even though I have an electric stove/oven, 2 large fridges, and run 4 monitors for at least 12 hours a day. I had air conditioners running all the time in Panama City, so I know the cost, given A/C units are really just inflexible heat pumps.

In Canada, in an excessively insulated home, my electric bill (including heat and A/C) averaged $500/month with a lower per Kwh cost, with a high capacity heat pump, so I will worry about the cost after I find out whether the alternative is something that will do the job of providing greater comfort. My heat pump provided some heat as long as it was above zero F, but the difference in temperature between in and outside was often huge, so I was battling a lot of heat loss. I am less worried about the cost in Boquete because I am likely to try only for a 5 degree effect, especially because the large thermal mass of masonry homes here help keep the temperature from changing fast. I would guess that the compressor would run for short periods, mostly in the rainy season, although I might keep the fan on, possibly with a passive heat exchanger in the ducts to use in the cool periods.  

I certainly am curious about the cost of operation (and installation, which is the biggest hurdle), which is why I need to find people who have tried using the heat pump in a climate like this, to get an idea of how much the heat pump would actually run and use power to run the compressor. 

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