We are planning to build a 2,500-square- foot house in the Florida panhandle and want to use the latest state of the art in energy conservation. We will be within 50 to 75 feet of a seven-acre pond and a stream. Can we use these as heat sinks for a heat-pump system? Also, we would like to use a backup system of space heating with a hot-water storage tank and wood- fired boiler as well as solar input. Do our ideas sound practical? Any sources of information would be appreciated. John M. Pendery DeFuniak Springs, Fla.
Indeed you can use the pond and stream as integral parts of your heat-pump system.
Water can be pumped through the unit, the heat extracted and moved through the house, and the water returned to its source.
Other heat-pump systems are air to air and ground to air.
Why don't you drop a note to the Air- Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI), 1815 North Fort Myer Drive, Arlington, Va. 22209. The phone number is (703) 524-8800.
You might also write to some of the large manufacturers, such as Carrier, Westinghouse, General Electric, York, and Trane.
The ARI publishes a directory that lists the energy-efficiency ratings (EER) of air-conditioning and refrigeration products, including heat pumps. Ask for the Unitary Directory at the address listed above. The last figure I have is $2 . The directory lists a product's manufacturer, model number, capacity, power, and EER.
You might want to drop a line to the Ground Water Council, 221 North LaSalle Street, Chicago, Ill. 60601. Phone: (312) 346-1600.
Your idea for a backup system seems feasible as well.If you want to explore the solar aspect in detail, give the Solar Heating and Cooling Information Center a call. The no-charge number is (800) 523-2929.