That is what they are saying. Personally, I don’t think so but it is hard to find evidence either way. What is a Reverse Cycle Chiller (RCS)?  The product is mainly sold by one vendor, Aqua Products. From what I have gathered, it is a heat pump that is used to heat and cool a water storage tank. This storage tank acts as a buffer so that the heat pump is filling the demand of the water storage tank and not the house thermostat. It is like two separate systems, the heat pump fills the water storage tank with energy and the house takes is away. The biggest advantage to a RCC is that the heat pump is sized to the heating load and not the cooling load. With the water storage tank as a buffer this ensures the heat pump won’t short cycle in the summer.

I was interested in a Heating Fuel Comparison Calculator. This link is for a US federal government spread sheet comparing the different cost of different heating sources. i modified it for the costs that I am likely to pay. The big ones being NG costs and electricity costs. I used 3.8 for Geothermal, water furnace, and 9.7 HSPF for a york heat pump.) Currently, I spend about $19 per million BTU for Natural Gas. For geothermal I would spend $8. For a heat pump I would spend $10. For the 80 million BTUs I used last year it would be, $1520, $640, and $800 respectively.

Now here is the interesting dilemma. If you use the “adjusted HSPF” at the bottom of the spreadsheet you should be using a HSPF of 6.3. This is because the auxiliary heating will be used during the coldest parts of winter. The RCS does not need to use the auxiliary heating nearly as much. How much? I don’t know. But I would guess the RCS would be running the vast majority of the time. If  conventional heat pump auxiliary heating runs for 200 hours a season, then a RCS auxiliary heating would run maybe 30 hours a season. (This is a wild guess but I am thinking of my location and how cold it gets on a regular basis.  Single digits only a few times a year.) If you use the HSPF of 6.3 you get almost $16 a million BTU and 80 million BTU cost you $1280. That would be $480 more than before. I will estimate $900.That is only $300 more a year then a geothermal system. And Geothermal has its own unique design aspects.

Since the RCS is designed for Heating, I have no doubt that it will be able to cool the house during the hottest days of summer. (My current unit has a hard time keeping up.) Additional, I want to have a dual zone system with two separate air handlers. This would be much easier pumping hot or cold water instead of multiple refrigerant lines. As with all of my new and crazy ideas, I have to find someone close to me that does this kind of thing. I need to make a few emails and see what I can dig up. The savings of almost $600 a year make it a very good use of my time. Did I forget to mention that I would save on my cooling too. The SEER rating is 18, my current AC unit is 10.