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'have had our 1989 1,400 sg. ft swedish cope house for a year. have used the wood stove up until this point. recently had heat pump (outdoor electric heat/air model by Trane) checked out. it has not worked from day one. it looks like we will be replacing the unit with something else. we are in gold country (california). no natural gas available in area, most people use propane or wood here.
not too excited about propane as it is expensive! hear good and bad about heat pumps. we are at 3500 ft elevation, light snow, light winters. 1 story house with dirt crawlspace under.
'want something efficient that doesn't cost an arm and a leg to buy or operate...
maybe wishful thinking
any suggestions?

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Who checked out your heater?  Trane is a top notch product.  Have you talked to a licensed plumber?  It would be very rare that your entire heater would need to be replaced.  Most heaters come equipped for Natural Gas, so if you are on Propane there would be several modifications needed including modifying the jets and the exhaust and the moisture relief system.  Don’t do it yourself, call a plumber.  I’m sure a plumber can take care of your Trane heater for minimal cost.  Ask your neighbors for a good recommendation on a plumber.

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