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HEAT PUMP WILL NOT KEEP UP WITH THERMOSTAT SETTING

EVERY THING IS RUNNING OK. POWER IS ON IT IS -15 DEG. OUTSIDE NOW. WHAT DO YOU THINK PROB. IS?

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  • johnnyo_13 Jan 18, 2009

    i have a 24k heat strip installed in the unit. should i check to make sure it is working ? and should i have installed the outdoor thermostat, and would that help?

  • johnnyo_13 Jan 19, 2009

    THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR HELP

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Heat pumps in cold climates suffer a number of limitations stemming from the fact that they are designed for air-conditioning applications. As climates become cooler and heating becomes more of the primary HVAC function, one may find that conventional heat pumps lose capacity and do not satisfy the load of the conditioned space. In colder temperatures, a conventional system’s need to defrost can further detract from heating performance. The use of resistance heat or fossil fuels to supplement or replace the vapor cycle. The additional use of supplemental heat to temper cold air blowing into the space during defrosts. As it gets colder outside, the delivery air temperatures inside begin to fall when no supplemental heat is being used. Supply air temperatures that are warmer than the return temperatures add heat to a space, but discomfort occurs when these supply temperatures drop below skin temperature. The air movement can feel cool or even cold. While the heat pump may be operating exactly as intended,the consumer will desire a more comfortable environment.

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Posted on Jan 17, 2009

  • Randy Hough
    Randy Hough Jan 19, 2009

    The electric heat should automatically engage if the temperature on the inside thermostat is set more than 15 or so degrees above the current inside temperature,If it is not engaging,you should have an emergency setting on the thermostat that you can switch it to.This will stop the heat pump and allow for electric heat.The outside t-stat is not a problem.

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If your thermostat has an emergency heat setting this means you have a heat pump system.
Yes you need to set the thermostat to heat for heating the house.
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The emergency heat setting overides the heat pump (the outside unit will not be energized).
The emergency heat setting will run the auxillary heat (heat strips) only.
When the thermostat is set in the heat position the heat pump will run to heat your house.
If the heat pump can't keep up (extreme cold) then then the auxillary heat will kick in to augment the heat pump until it satisfies the thermostat settings. If your room temperature gets 2 degrees below your thermostat setpoint, your auxillary heat will kick on. Example, say you are going to be gone a couple of days and you turn your heat down to 60 degrees. When you return and it is 60 degrees in your house, you turn the thermostat up to 70 degrees. Since you are turning the temperature up 2 degrees or more (10 degrees in this case) from the 60 degree room temperature then the heat pump will come on and the auxillary heat strips. The unit will continue heating like this until the temperature in the house gets to 69 degrees and the heat strips will turn off and the heat pump will continue to run until the 70 degree setpoint is reached.
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Check at your thermostat for a supplemental heat setting. Your repairman was right in that a heat pump will not effectively extract heat from the outside when the temperature is very cold. The supplemental heat setting allows the heat strips to be used, operating like a normal electric furnace, when it's too cold to work as a heat pump. Take a look, and re-post if you need to.

Best regards, --W/D--
Please feel free to rate this solution. Thanks.

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Is this a heat pump / AIr conditioner unit? and is it real COLD outside?

Here are some comments on heat pumps:

Remember, for an air conditioner to PUT OUT HEAT-- (as HEAT PUMP) -- there has to be some HEAT outdoors, to make the process work...
So-- ask yourself-- How cold is it outside?
How cold was it outside, the last time that my AC worked good as a heat pump?


Possibly the coil outside is all frosted up?--

Shutting it off, and letting the outside coil defrost might help-- but-- the basic law of physics still stands: To get heat inside-- there has to be some heat outside! (Likely your unit won't give you much heat inside, when it is below 50 -- or for sure-- below 40 degrees outside!)

Give us a few temperature readings- inside and out, and then gives us clues as to what is running, and what is not-- maybe we can trouble shoot deeper. Is the compressor running?-- does it sound like it is actually working-- or just running-- sort of like 'running but not really WORKING'?

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