Heat Pump Question

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by SethH, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I'm renting a place that has a heat pump. The heat pump is brand new and the house is about 1200 sq ft. It seems to blow out more cool air than warm air. One of my roommates has began flipping the switch over to "Emergency Heat" so it will blow out warm air. What are the results of using the emergency heat for extended periods? Will electric bills be higher? Will the outside unit freeze up? The heat seems to stay on for less time now, so it's definitely working, but I just don't think you're supposed to use it in this manner.

    FWIW, the weather has been pretty cold recently. The past week has been well below freezing with wind chills below 0 each night and some days.
     
  2. Elinor

    Elinor Supporting Actor

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    The Emergency Heat is going to use A LOT (I mean, A LOT) more electricity.

    Heat Pumps are not like furnaces. They blow air out the vents that is AT the set temperature. Most furnaces blow out air at like 150 degrees F.

    This is one of the biggest complaints about Heat Pumps. The air feels cold coming out.

    Just get used to it. Turn it up a degree or three. But don't use the emergency heaters. It's the same as buying a plug-in heater at Home Depot and using it ... the least efficient way to heat.

    Heat pumps don't work at all below about 25 degrees F though, so the emergency strips are going to kick on anyway.
     
  3. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    That's what I figured. I'm concerned, however, that the thermostat in the control unit may be off. I have an atomic clock that shows the temperature on it. There is also one other temperature gauge in the same room. Both ALWAYS read between 66 and 68 degrees. Yet the control unit for the heat pump (in the same room) has to be set to 74 or 75 to maintain these temperatures. We are scared to set the heat pump any higher because you're not supposed to set them over 78. The heat pump was just installed this past summer. Is there any chance the thermostat is bad?
     
  4. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    That's not exactly true. The heat pump is supposed to work down well below 0, but it has to use the aux heat to run a defrost cycle every hour or so.
     
  5. Elinor

    Elinor Supporting Actor

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    I know my thermostat is out of calibration too: I have a gas furnace, and I have to set the thermostat on 75 degrees for it to get to about 70 in the house. The readout on the unit agrees with a separate thermometer. There is a way to adjust the thing, I just don't want to attempt and bitch it up even worse.

    That's interesting about the heat pump. I was always told that they don't do anything below 25 ... it's all strip heaters. Perhaps what you are saying is true of newer units ... I know in my old house (built in '91), when it got really cold, the strip heater LED was on constantly.
     
  6. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    heat pumps don't feel warm to the touch, the air coming out of the register is probably around 80 degrees which may feel cool.
    some of the new heat pumps work when it's much colder, but he's right, they lose efficiency around 25-30.
     

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