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I assume that you have a heat pump system. If this is the case, the outside temperature is probably lower than the heat pump is sized for and it is using the auxiliary heating system to keep up. The auxiliary heating system usually is an electric coil in the heat pump unit which supplements the heat being produced by the heat pump. This is normal operations and does not indicate a problem with the heat pump, it is just really cold outside. If it is not colder than usual outside, there may be a problem with the heat pump and you should call a heating contractor to check it out.
See if it happens only when your temperature of the room is more than 3 degrees of your setpoint temperature. Since you have a heat pump, the auxiliary (electric heat strips) is use for backup of the heat pump when it can't keep up. The heat pump will run by itself if it can maintain temperature within a couple degrees. If it is too cold outside to handle the load or you set the temperature more than 2 degrees past room temperature, the auxiliary will turn on. The thermostat has a memory of how long it takes to reach desired temperature. If it goes into auxiliary mode trying to satisfy setpoint during the last call for heat, it will start the next call for heat in both aux & heat pump mode until the thermostats algorithm (timed program) allows only the heat pump to run. Not sure if you have an air to air, or geothermal heat pump. The outside air temperature will affect only the air to air system ie. when the temps drop outside, the heat coming out of your vents will be cooler...the air to air systems drops efficiency when the outdoor air drops.
They don't always use the correct wire colors,if it is labeled w it is for your strip heat,shouldn't hurt to hook it up,most likely they used it for the strip heat,most heat pumps are wired to turn on your strip heat when the heatpump is in defrost mode and it is controlled by the heat pump,you can hook this to the emerg. heat or w2 :)
IT SOUNDS TO ME LIKE EITHER YOUR SYSTEMS LOW VOLTAGE WIRING IS INCORRECT, MOST LIKELY @ THE FURNACE. IT COULD ALSO SIMPLY BE THAT WHEN THE TECHNICIAN THAT INSTALLED THE T-STAT AT START-UP DID NOT GO THROUGH THE INSTALLER SET-UP & CHOOSE THE CORRECT SETTINGS FOR A DUEL FUEL SYSTEM. TRY THIS " SET THE THERMOSTAT TO EMERGENCY HEAT, WAIT A MINUTE OR TWO & SEE IF THAT TURNED GAS FURNACE ON. IF SO THEN IT'S A SIMPLE FIX IN THE WIRING OR PROGRAMMING & NOT SOMETHING MAJOR! GOOD LUCK!
Auxiliary Heat is used to turn the electric heat strips ON, If the heat pump is not working. Or if the heat pump can't bring the space temperature up to Set Temperature it will display Aux Heat ON....... Assuming you have a Heat Pump System with Auxiliary Electric Heat as Back up...... If the tech didn't install a jumper wire from AUX to W on the subase which is in back of the Display on the Thermostat.....you won't get Auxiliary Heat if the Thermostat is set for Auxiliary Heat. Other wise the thermostat will turn the heat pump on first and then the electric heat (Aux Heat) if it needs it to satisfy the set temperature....... Hope this helps
That is worrysome about putting refrigerant in hap hazzardly... There is a math style process involving pressures and temperatures in two locations that dictate how much ref. goes in. Anything else shows clueless installer. Too much or too little ref. will not work correctly.
Heat pumps do not work below about 33 degrees outside temp. Above that them, aux heat should not be coming on...
You would need to verify that the system you have is rated for the space that you are trying to heat...
Heat pumps heat more slowly than gas or electric, so using set back thermostat is not recommended. True economy comes from maintaining constant temprature. System has to work to hard to raise the temprature, and eats up savings in efficiency by allowing temp set back.
Auxiliary heat is electric heat that is put into the air handler on the inside of the house. Its used when your heat pump doesn't provide enough heat, but heat strips are not always used. To see if you have auxiliary heat, look inside and see if you have breakers on the front panel of the air handler or anywhere close. No breakers, no electric heat. Hope this helps!
If your system is a heat pump and is failing to keep up overnight during the colder weather. Or if it struggles to keep up at all, a few issues come to mind.
Obviously, the first and most common cause would be due to an undercharge of refrigerant. With an undercharge, your heat pump has lost efficiency and cannot properly remove heat from outside.
Other possible issues that come to mind are failed defrost cycle. If your unit is not defrosting properly and it continues to run non-stop, a freeze-up could occur on the outdoor coil. And the worse it gets, the worse your system will perform.
Another possibility is auxiliary heat or heat strips are not coming on at all. Depending on your thermostat, you would be able to tell if the thermostat is calling for auxiliary heat. If you are not getting any additional heat, then the heat pump may not be adequate for the space intended.
Other smaller factors may come into play such as incorrect defrost cycles. Possibly a mechanical component taking a break or overheating or maybe a mechanical failure such as failed compressor leaving the only heat you have as emergency.
Air inlet door
Temperature blend door
Auxiliary mode door
The auxiliary A/C and heating system has the following features:
The auxiliary A/C and heating system is functional whenever the instrument panel mounted A/C control is in any position except OFF.
The auxiliary blower motor recirculates the air inside the vehicle. Outside air is not available to the auxiliary system.
Air is cooled and dehumidified by the auxiliary A/C evaporator core only if the instrument panel mounted A/C control is adjusted to a position that requires A/C compressor operation.
The temperature blend door and the auxiliary mode door are controlled by electric actuator motors.
Movement of the auxiliary temperature control between COOL and WARM causes a corresponding movement of the temperature blend door to mix air flowing through and around the auxiliary heater core.
Movement of the auxiliary mode control between PANEL and FLOOR causes a corresponding movement of the auxiliary mode door to direct air flow between the panel (headliner) registers and the floor duct.
I would say the auxiliary mode door (#4) electric motor is not wokring.
Auxiliary Blend Door Actuator —Air Distribution
Removal and Installation
Remove the RH quarter trim panel cup holder and access panel.
Remove the screws.
Disconnect the blend door actuator electrical connector.