Unless there's something wrong with your heat pump, running nonstop is not a sign that it's inefficient. It's simply the result of your homes heat loss exceeding the heat output of your heat pump. And running nonstop isn't really bad for your heat pump. Someone around here even has a signature saying - "The worst thing you can do to a compressor is to start it." So given a choice between running nonstop and frequent starts and stops, nonstop is preferrable.
Originally posted by marca
Filterchanger -- Yes, if both heat sources are operating simultaneously, plenum temp. will be much higher. However, if second stage kicks in, meaning that there was a 2-3F drop that called first stage on, then another 2-3F drop that called for second stage to kick on, then you are fighting a losing battle. Once the resistance heat satisfies that additional 2-3F drop, it will shut off. However, the heat pump will continue to run, and run, and, run; but it will NEVER satisfy the original 2-3F drop. Now, the cycle will continue..... another 2-3F drop, calling for second stage heat, second stage satisfies while first stage keeps running, first stage can not keep up, another 2-3F drop, second stage kicks in again, etc, etc., etc. In my opinion, it is a waste of both electricity and heat pump wear and tear to operate a system in this fashion at low temperatures. That is the reason I switch OFF the heat pump and switch ON the resistance heat during periods of low outside temperature. My logic is; if the heat pump is unable to satisfy within a reasonable period of time, then it should not be running. Makes sense?