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  1. #1

    Heat pump not working? Help please

    Hello. First, some background info. This is my first winter in a home with an electric heat pump so I'm very new to this. I live in MD and it has been as cold at 10 degrees recently. My heat pump has been blowing what feels like cold air for days. After doing research, I am beginning to understand that this is normal and that it's not truly 'cold' air. I usually keep my thermostat set to 67 degrees. I have noticed that when I turn it up to 70 or more that I get warm air out of the vents and my house actually heats up. If I leave it at 67 all the time it seems that my heat pump is running constantly and my thermostat says that it's 65 to 66 and it never seems to warm up. Is there something wrong?

  2. #2
    I also want to add that I don't have an emergency option on my thermostat.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,670
    post a photo or model number of the thermostat, no emerg is rare.

    at those temps the heat pump will run constantly, but should be able to maintain temp once it is reached.

    the warm air you feel means the aux/emerg is running- you have gas, electric, propane or oil for that.
    The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and stamps EVER.
    Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to "Please Do Not Feed the Animals". Their stated reason for this policy "... the animals become dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."
    from an excerpt by Paul Jacob in Sun City, AZ

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,737
    Post pic of your thermostat, sounds like an older stat. they often did what you describe.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  5. #5
    We have a Radio Thermostat C30. It does have an emergency setting, it just wasn't obvious at first. I have also read that the emergency setting is for true emergencies, such as your heat pump was crushed by a falling tree or a meteor, Volkswagen, etc.

    It struggles to get to 67, which is what we have set. It heats to about 65 or 66 degrees but the air is cool to the touch. The aux heat is an electric coil but that doesn't seem to kick in unless we set the target temperature to be well above the current temperature (72 or more).

    This is our first heat pump. Being from NY, we're used to gas or electric furnaces.

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    6,400
    Sounds like your heat pump needs service, with tightly sealed and insulated ducts you will get ~100-110F air out of vents and ~110-120*F out with electric aux and heat pump running.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    2,266
    Quote Originally Posted by jtrammel View Post
    Sounds like your heat pump needs service, with tightly sealed and insulated ducts you will get ~100-110F air out of vents and ~110-120*F out with electric aux and heat pump running.
    A temperature rise through the coil of only 15-20 degrees is certainly possible in MD. So with a return temp of 65 degrees a supply temp could easily be below 85 degrees even with everything working as designed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,608
    sounds like it is not cycling the auxillary heat ,
    We really need change now

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Athens, Ohio
    Posts
    1,694
    From your description, I think your system is working properly. Here's why.
    The thermostat has two mercury bulbs. One is "first stage" which is the heat pump. The second mercury bulb is "auxiliary heat", the heating elements. As it gets colder outside the efficiency (and output temperature) of the heat pump goes down. When the heat pump cannot satisfy the thermostat the temperature in the house drops a little more and then the thermostat activates second stage heat. That raises the temperature only enough to satisfy the second stage mercury bulb but not enough to satisfy first stage. The heat pump continues running but the output temperature may be lower than body temperature so you perceive the air as "cold." This is way older thermostats work.
    Before we installed a digital thermostat our house would stay at 70* until the outdoor temperature fell below 30*. Then the house would stay at 68* (2* was the difference between the first and second stage bulbs.) We would compensate by raising the setting of the thermostat to 72* so the house stayed at 70*. When the temperature outside rose above 30* the heat pump could raise the house temperature so we then had to return the thermostat to 70*.
    Digital thermostats have much closer tolerances so they do not let the temperature drop so far before activating second stage.
    If you want to call a service company to check you system go right ahead but I suspect they will find it as I described.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Athens, Ohio
    Posts
    1,694
    BTW, I'm not familiar with the Radio C30 thermostat. Is that Radio Shack?
    Mercury thermostats are not as precise as digital ones but they work adequately once you know what to expect.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,670
    The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and stamps EVER.
    Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to "Please Do Not Feed the Animals". Their stated reason for this policy "... the animals become dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."
    from an excerpt by Paul Jacob in Sun City, AZ

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