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HI-i have a coleman heat pump- on defrost it gives cold air- not normal. thanks

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Do you have electric heat strips for auxillary or backup heat? When the heatpump goes into defrost, the electric heat strips or whatever your source of auxillary heat is, should come on to keep you from feeling the cold air. When the heat pump is in defrost it is essentially operating in the A/C mode, that is why you will feel cold air if the auxillary heat isn't working. You need find out why the auxillary heat isn't coming on if it isn't. It could be do to a bad seqencer or a burnt out element.

Posted on Mar 12, 2011

Testimonial: "Hi- very good advice. thanks"

  • luc414 Mar 12, 2011

    Hi thanks for the help-- i have heat strips- when i ask for emergency they are working. is it with the t-stat ? thanks.

  • Brian Niten Mar 22, 2011

    May be in the defrost board since that would be controlling them when they come on in defrost.

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Is it normal for the outdoor unit on my coleman h/p to make a surging humming noise? the fan does not run during this period, approx. temp. is 28 degrees F. the fan runs 30 seconds befor the unit...


Sounds like your unit is going into defrost mode. When this happens the fan in the outdoor unit shuts off so you get more heat in the outdoor unit to defrost the coils. The heatpump is basically in A/C mode during defrost and the electric heat strips will kick in so you don't feel a cold blast of air in the house.

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My carrier heat pump has frosting on the outside on it's coils. I know that it's cold outside but is that normal?


Yes it is normal especially with high humidity. The moisture freezes on the coils just like on the evaporator coils in a freezer. The heat pump will defrost itself by shutting off the fan outside and reverse the flow of refrigerant to melt the ice when it build up then switch back to normal heat. That's why at times you may feel cold air coming out of the vents in the house. The outside coils are defrosting.

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I have a aircond / heat pump unit. When in the heating mode it run for about10-15 minutes and you hear a small bang and here a rush of pressure in the aircond lines and the the unit seem to be running in...


Hello,Your heat pump is in DEFROST mode and this is normal(only during a call for heat).When in defrost mode the supply air temp should still be warm as 1st stage electric heat strip comes on during the cycle.If the unit did not defrost every once in a while the outside unit would look like a snowman after a while.The reversing valve is the "bang" when it changes over.

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Is it normal operation for these units to EVER blow out cold air or "nonheated" air when unit is in heat mode?


Yes. Heat pumps have to go into defrost just like a freezer when the temp gets too cold outside. The heat pump will temper the indoor air electric heat.

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Goodman package- no heat below 30 degrees outside


I believe the unit you are describing is a heat pump. Heat pump are great when the temperature isn't below 30 With low ambient temps. outside it is much more efficient and comfortable to run aux. electric heat from the heat pump.

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Goodman heats but defrosts turns on before desired temp.


Yes. The defrost cycle of a heat pump is actually turning on your airconditioning to heat up the condenser to thaw it out. During this cycle your electric strip heaters "should" be adequate enough to compensate for the a/c being on. At about 30 - 34 degrees outdoor temp there is not enough heat in the air to to adequately heat your home with the heat pump only. Some technitions will use an outdoor thermostat to turn off the heat pump when it is under 34 degrees outside. If you are to cold when its under 34 degrees intall more electric strip heaters.. But if you do this your electric bill may go up significantly.
Welcome to the wonderful world of electric heat pumps (lol).
Good luck.

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1 Answer

When I turn the air on the heat strips comes on at the same time


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.

Mar 12, 2009 | Coleman Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

Heat pump blows heat half the time and cold half the time


It sounds like it is just going into the defrost cycle. Go outside and see if it is iced up. If it is, it reverses itself to melt the ice. Heat strips should come on if unit has them

Dec 03, 2008 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

My heat pump starts up in the defrost cycle.


My question may seem a little ignorant but How do you know your heat pump starts in defrost? You can't tell by "feel". You have to measure heat with a thermometer. If its because it "feels cold" your body temp is normally 98.6'f if your heat pump is in cold air outside (say below 40 or 45'f) and its putting out 85 to 98'f air inside your home is gaining even if it feels cold to you. Hearing the reversing valve kick in or out? Just because you hear this doesn't mean its in defrost, it may normally start this way.

Now if its running for a long time? That's subject to your interpretation of long time. It could be normal too especially if the air outside is getting colder and your house is needing more heat to keep it comfortable for you. The longer the heat pump runs means the more electric it is saving you.

The one thing that makes me believe this is all normal is the fact you say the elements kick on and warm up the home before it shuts off. So heres one way to kind of tell where your at:
1 Are the filters cean?
2 When the weather warms up does the Heat pump run as long?
3 Does *** run longer as the night gets colder?
4 Does it defrost at times and you see steam coming off the out door part and the out door fan stop?
5 does it make a swishing noise just before it defrosts and maybe after it defrost?
6 does it make ice build up around the base if its been running for a few days?
7 does the air comming out the ducts test at least 5 to 8'f warmer or more, than the room temperature?

If all of these are yes then most likely you have a normal operation going on.

If the elements are coming on that usually means the heat pump cant handle the load by itself. Remember this :
It uses less electricity to run the fan motors and the compressor < 18 amps in cold weather. Typically with everything clean heating output on a 5 ton somewhere around 50,000BTUH [a 3 ton will put out around 28,000 btuh and only pull about 12 amps] you would have the indoor fan motor running any way with either of the heating systems so it isnt needed to count for effiency.
1 heating element 5KW at 240V about 20.83 Amps and it puts out only around 17,000 Btuh. But the heating element glowes red hot and consentrates heat in a shorter time thus it "feels" warmer, which it is but its not cheaper.

If this help\ed you understand your heat pump operation and you feel like it is normal now please rate me as high as you can. If you feel you you may still ahve a problem please post it and the answers to the questions above as to narrow your scope of what to look for. Thanks for using fixya and good luck.

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