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you cant use that thermostat for a heat strip,your thermostat only gives 9 volts to tell the heat pump to come on,a heat strip needs 220 volts to run,DO NOT PLAY WITH ELECTRIC HEATERS!!you do not know what you are doing and can burn your house down or hurt someone!!
Put meter probes at in put terminal of the element if you read 220volts that mean your relay is good. if you got it there use amp meter on one leg of that element. You should read some amp draw there but if there is no amp draw it mean the element broke.
these are all in one units, some of them are made like smaller central units and some of these are separate ac and heat units. the heat in the separate ones is run off of a heat strip in the unit it's self the ones that are made like a central unit reverse the flow of the freon in the system to draw the heat from outside. this is not something you can repair very easily yourself. most places require because of the freon that you have a certified HVAC technician to work on them.
If it does not have a furnace or heating elements for heating, then it is a heat pump, which is rare for a central AC system, but makes sense of the fact that it blows warm air when you reset the pressure switch, which may indicates freon pressure charge problem if your AC system has a reverse valve and uses freon to for heating (heat Pump).
Do you get heating when outside unit runs? if you do, check freon pressure levels and top up to required pressures. The button you depress is a pressure reset switch ... that is if your AC system is a heat pump ... which, as pointed above, it is not common for central ACs.
Is your central air furnace or electric heat. Electric furnace sometimes have electric strip sequencer stick in the closed positions leaving on one strip of the electric heat. Get a service tech as soon as possible to check this out. Any smells from a central unit need to be teken care of promptly. TURN OFF unit you have it checked for your safety. Rus
Is this a central heat? From the size i assume it is. You say air conditioning on part of your question then use heat pump on
another part. So it is important for us both be on the same page. With all due respect some people think they have a heat pump and it is
just AC and electric heat also but is not a heat pump. . If you have the outdoor AC unit running
with your thermostat set for heat and the air coming off the out door
unit is cold, or you see it "steam up outdoors" off the out door unit at times (we call this mode defrost).
If you actually have a Heat pump system some times it is wired to have the strips come on at the same time the heat pump comes on especially if you experience a lot of weather below 40' occasionally and have an emergency heat setting on your thermostat you most likely have a heat pump.
If you have a heat pump for sure now the heaters can come on with the outdoor section if 1 they are wired to do so or 2 the thermostat has 2 stage heating and the second stage is telling the elements to come on, or 3 the outdoor thermostat (if so equipped) is telling the elements to come on. Any 1 or combination of these 3 items can cause the elements to come on wit the out door unit.
What you are talking about I think are the strip heaters in the Air Handler this must be a Heat Pump system right??? If so please check your thermostat and make sure it is not in EMRGY HEAT mode.. One other note there is a 2 stage bulb system inside the stat if it is too cold outside and the heatpump on its own cant keep up with the call for heat the 2nd bulb closes and turns on the heater as a supplumnetal heat also these will come on or should come on when the unit goes into defrost.. plz let me know what it is you are trying to test and i can walk you thru it.. Also need a model # off the A/H to get a Wiring diagram