Question about Carrier XHB123D X/Y Series Heat/Cool Air Conditioner

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My outside heat unit is frozen and it is 10 degrees out, will it thaw while I have it on emergency heat? How long do I keep emergency heat on?

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  • jularce Feb 07, 2010

    My filter was dirty, do you think this is why it froze inside the outside unit?

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Switching to emergency heat will not defrost the unit.

If the Heat pump is malfunctioning, continue to use the emergency heat until the unit can be repaired properly.


At ten degrees, no heat pump can keep up., but it should be automatically bringing on the heat strips as back up heat. (same thing as emergency heat, it's just automatic.)

Either the extreme cold is overloading the defrost system, due to lack of properly operating exterior temp sensors or the defrost is malfunctioning,

Posted on Feb 07, 2010

Testimonial: "Thank you for your prompt response! My filter was dirty and needed to be changed --- I think that may be why it froze?"

  • Danny Clark
    Danny Clark Feb 07, 2010

    A dirty filter can cause the inddor (evaporator) coil to freeze in cooling mode.

    I dirty filter can cause the high temp/pressure switch to trip in heat mode.

    Clogged/dirty coils on the outdoor unit can cause it to freeze up in heat mode.

    But a dirty filter would not cause the outdoor coils to freeze in heat mode.


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1 Answer

When em heat is on my outside unit runs but when not on em heat it doesn't. Which setting is best to use?


Has this always been this way? When the emergency heat is on the outside unit shouldn't run. When in normal heat, no emergency heat, the outside unit should be running unless the temperature is below the balance point ( usually around 35 degrees). If this has always been this way and the outside temperature is above 40 degrees you might have your 1st stage and 2nd stage wires switched.

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Not frozen as mentioned in my last post to you. Take it now, and drop it into HOT water for 10 minutes. That will complete the thaw safely, as it will form part of the reheating to cook process. As I mentioned, I am a trade masterchef.

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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.
The emergency heat setting should never be used unless your outside unit is not functioning.
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.
Hope this helps.
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Our janitrol heat pump is freezing. there is considerable buildup of ice inside the pump itself on the coil. the fan still spins and still heats the interior of the home


Switch the thermostat from heat to Aux. or emergency heat till the outside unit thaws out. This will shorten the life of the outside unit considerable running it all iced up.

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1 Answer

I have a westinghouse window unit and I think it has heat strips for the heat. How do I tell if it is a true heat pump or if it has heat strips and how do I get to the Heat strips in the unit to check.


If it is a heat pump, the compressor will be running both in cool mode and in normal heat mode.

Confirm the current indoor temperature. Turn the thermostat up one degree at a time until it comes on. This will typically be 1 to 4 degrees increase. As soon as it comes on stop increasing the temp.

If the compressor is running, it is a heat pump.

Check the temperature coming our of the vents at that time. You should have 30 to 60 degrees increase from the air temp going into the unit and the conditioned air temp coming out.

Then turn the T-stat up another 10 degrees. If the temp coming out of the vents increases by 20 degrees or more. the strips are on.

The strips operate in three situations.
1) the system is set to emergency heat
2) The heat pump cannot keep up with the demand for heat. (because its too cold outside, the desired temp setting is greater than 4 to 8 degrees above the room temp, or the HP is malfunctioning.)
3) The HP is in defrost mode

You could also take the panels off the unit and look for a reversing valve, but unless you know what you are looking for you will not recognise it.

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