heat pump problems

lonewolf20October 11, 2009

My electric strips kick on every morning. It can be 66 in the house and we have it set to 67 so the heatstrips kick on. Why does it do this?

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depending on the age and mdl of your thermostat and its ability to set/adjust aux heat strip activation, the operation seems perfectly normal. the newer, programmable, and more sophisticated HP thermostats can adjust when the aux heat strips are activated particularly on setback in the evenings and recovery in the mornings. usually raising the thermostat by one to two degrees will activate your heat strips.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 8:41AM
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I had a trane system installed 2 years ago. Two heatpumps with a trane programable thermostats. This sytem has costed me a fortune.the heat strip seems to run entirely too often.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 12:21PM
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Sometimes electronic thermostats are a little too sensitive. I had a similar problem with a Lennox system. Running a heat setback, the strips would always come on during the last few mins of the recovery period when the room temp had reached within 1°F to 2°F of the target. And this was with a "smart" 'stat that should adjust to minimize/eliminate strip use during recovery. Running just a little longer without the auxiliary would have reached the target, although a little beyond the target recovery time, which didn't pose any particular difficulty to me. I investigated and found that an optional outdoor temp sensor was available which allowed locking-out the auxiliary until the ambient is below a programmable target temp (the strips still run during defrost). I had the sensor added, solved the problem. Check if such an option is available for your Tranes.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 2:39PM
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Ah, where are the so-called experts who told me a few months ago that modern heat pumps don't turn on the strips until it's very cold, like in the thirties? I was in the manufacturing end of heat pumps in the 70s and they would go on below around 45 degrees.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 5:23AM
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The problem lies with the thermostat makers. The heat pump doesn't turn the strips on for heat, except during defrost mode. The thermostat turns the heat strips on for heat.

Installers that could add a relay to lock the strips out above a certain temperature, but don't bother to do it, are also part of the problem.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 8:19AM
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The strip lockout feature on a thermostat is a big $$ saver. I have a honeywell that I have set at 40 and wish I could select a lower setting, but even 40 makes a big difference. The other big $$ savings is having the strips staged so you are not running full strips along with the heat pump. In this setup only part of the strips come on to boost the heat pump. This cuts the cost of the strips running considerably.

IMO the best savings :

Thermostat with outdoor temp sensing

Staging the strips

Strip lockout turned on @35-40 degrees

With some DIY skills and purchasing the stat and sensor off ebay this all can be accomplished for 100-200.00 depending on the model chosen. It might be available on the existing stat.

I think #1 is stage the strips and have the stat set up for it.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 11:57AM
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all good advice by countryboy.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2009 at 12:13PM
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thanks for the replies.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2009 at 10:38PM
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