Emergency Heat Comes On

davemartin88April 20, 2009

Have a Heil heat pump (about 9 years old) for the upstairs of our house and had problems with it about a month ago only to find that the emergency heating was coming on any time there was a call for heat. Had someone look at it and the suggestion was the cost to fix the unit was going to be very high and we should consider replacing the unit. He turned the system to a/c and the compressor appeared to come on and the ac functioned. This is not the first problem we've had with this unit and the two others we have have performed fine.

We only plan to be in this house about 2 more years at most, we have started building at a new location so not looking for the highest quality unit, probably "builder" grade. First question is if we can only replace the outside unit to lower our costs? Second, does it make sense that something could be wrong that would cause the emergency heat to come on all the time but the unit otherwise be working well enough to cool? Wondering if we might want to get another technician to look at this one although it has been problematic in the past.


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Not a PRO, here, but if it works in cooling mode, it could be cheaper to repair, rather than replace. Might be something related to the reversing valve (possibly stuck or shot).

Get a second opinion. Ask company if they are heat pump experts.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 9:51AM
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Have someone coming out tomorrow to take a look at the unit and give an estimate for replacement as well- they think they would be able to replace the actual heat pump without replacing the air handler but want to take a look in person. Estimates from two other companies ranged from $4800 to 5200 for a Rheem 410A Prestige unit, 13 SEER so not eligible for the tax credit. The 16 SEER unit that would be eligible comes in about $4-500 more after the credit and a rebate from Rheem but have to wait to see that money and obviously won't be here for the payback so probably won't go that way and save the tax credit for the new construction (considering geothermal there).

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 3:35PM
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You my friend have met one of the professional HVAC Prince of Thieves. This prince confirmed that AC system mode worked and does not work in heat mode. Why does this pro not diagnose the problem before trying to sell you a nice and shiny new system? Unbelievable! Get another prince to look at it before you start replacing components unnecessarily.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 12:35AM
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Tact your level of disrespect and lack of knowledge for the trade is incredible. What would you charge for a new system installed? I'm sure you'd be out of business soon!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 9:22AM
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Just saying if the system works in AC mode properly, why not diagnose and fix in heat mode? I realize that all you'd want to do is hose this guy and sell a new unit. The system is 9 years old for crying out loud. You must be in the "Prince of Thieves" club.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 12:21AM
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