See a similar question I posted a few years ago: Heat pump minimum compressor temprature
I have a custom built new construction home, but I was not involved with the build process, so I don't know the thought behind some of the equipment decisions.
My home is located where we have very cold winters (Nights at -10F are not uncommon).
I have a multi zone air handler that is connected to a 2 stage ground source geo-thermal heat pump, along with 2 stage natural gas auxiliary heat. In addition, the entire home is equipped with zoned hydronic floor heating backed by a natural gas fired boiler.
The zone controller for the air handler has settings to configure to when to "Stage up", with combinations of Temperature setpoint to actual temperature delta, number of zones calling, outside air temperature, and time spent running in current stage. These settings were never setup by the installer, and due to my rural location, getting any type of an HVAC person out (Especially one that understands the system) comes with a very hefty service fee.
From the zone controller point of view:
Stage 1 - Ground Geo Stage 1
Stage 2 - Ground Geo Stage 2
Stage 3 - Aux heat (Natural gas) stage 1
Stage 4 - Aux heat (Natural gas) stage 2
The floor hydronic heating is serviced by a bunch of "dumb" honeywell thermostats and not tied into the air handler at all.
Since I have a ground source geo-thermal unit, is there ever a time when I should run the Auxiliary heat? (Leaving number of zones calling, Outside Air Temperature, and time spent running in current stage disabled)?
What is the most economical way to balance the Hydronic floor heat with the heat provided by the air handler?
Specific Equipment (If needed):
- Air Handler / Furnace: Carrier Infinity 59TN6A (96.7% Efficiency Rating)
- Hydronic Boiler: Navien NHB-080 (95% Efficiency Rating)
- Ground Source Heatpump: Hydron Module BT060 (Stage 1 CoP - 4.1, Stage 2 CoP 3.7)
Energy Costs (If needed):
- Electrical: $0.1057 / kWh
- Natural Gas: $0.1414 / Therm