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  1. #1

    emergency heat vs normal heat

    Hello all, I have a totally electric furnace. it uses the ac unit outside also for the heating. But my thermostat has a emergency heat switch that kicks the outside unit off and uses just the furnace to heat. my heating man told me that it might save me money using it always in emergency heat mode. He says thats the way he runs his furnace. Ive been searching online, and cant find really anything that says hes true. I have found a few people that said the emergency heat will run up my bill. I have found that the furnace runs longer in normal heat mode, and in emergency heat it wont run a very long time and cycles on and off alot. which should I use ? thanks

    Mark

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    Both.

    You have a heat pump, which pulls heat from the cold ambient air (outdoor unit). And electric resistance heat (inside) to supplement when the air is too cold to properly heat your home and for emergency heat if your outdoor unit stops working. The only time you should turn that switch to emergency is if the outdoor unit is not working. Turn the switch and call someone else who knows what they are talking about.

    There is no way that your electric heat banks alone will be more efficient than the outdoor unit.

    The outdoor unit and electric resistance heat work together to keep you comfortable. The thermostat decides to use just the outdoor unit, electric heat or both.
    Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparks View Post
    You have a heat pump, which pulls heat from the cold ambient air. (outdoor unit). And electric resistance heat to supplement when the air is too cold to properly heat your home and for emergency heat if your outdoor unit stops working. The only time you should turn that switch to emergency is if the outdoor unit is not working. Turn the switch and call someone else who knows what they are talking about.

    There is no way that your electric heat banks alone will be more efficient than the outdoor unit.
    ditto on that.
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  4. #4
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    This may help clear things up too.

    http://www.hometips.com/heatpumps-airsource.html
    Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Central, FL
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    Talking

    There is no way that your electric heat banks alone will be more efficient than the outdoor unit.

    How about if the unit is not properly sized, or if the system is in very poor condition his heat pump may not be supplying the sufficient about of btu's to allow the system to cycle . Outdoor temp is also a big factor.

    Ex) If a poorly eff. 3 ton heat pump unit is has to run for 2-3 hours to heat up a home & maintain the temp.@ say 20amps/hr

    230v X 20a = 4600w X 3hrs= 13,800 watts

    A 10k.w electric heater is a guaranted 34,000 btu of heat so if that electric heater only has to run say 1 hr to heat the home then its consuming 10,000 watts.

    Mark hire a licensed profesional, its cheaper
    WARNING:IF YOU DON'T KNOW THEN DON'T DO, SO THOSE WHO KNOW WHAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW DON'T END UP UNDOING WHAT YOU DID SO IT COULD GET DONE RIGHT!

  6. #6
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    my heating man told me that it might save me money using it always in emergency heat mode. He says thats the way he runs his furnace.
    In that case it's time to find another "heating man".

    In cold climates, high efficiency gas furnaces are often cheaper to operate than heat pumps well before the balance point is reached. (Doesn't apply to all electric systems)
    General public's attitude towards our energy predicament: "I reject the reality of finite resource depletion and substitute it with my own; energy is infinite, we just need an alternative storage medium to run the cars on. The economy can grow indefinitely - we just need to "green" everything! Technology is energy! Peak what?"

  7. #7

    thanks for the replies

    thanks for all the replies I have turned off the emergency heat and running the furnace normally. it barely cycles and and off in the cold. I live in an old house that is barely insulated and has terrible windows. hopefully this is the last winter in this house, i only rent and the landlord is cheap. so i have to go with his furnace man when i have a problem. i keep it set around 63 degrees and run a space heater in the room i spend most the time in to take the chill off. winter is usaully terrible. my highest heating bill reaches 450-480 a month during jan and feb. thanks all that replied.
    mark

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackturbo View Post
    thanks for all the replies I have turned off the emergency heat and running the furnace normally. it barely cycles and and off in the cold. I live in an old house that is barely insulated and has terrible windows. hopefully this is the last winter in this house, i only rent and the landlord is cheap. so i have to go with his furnace man when i have a problem. i keep it set around 63 degrees and run a space heater in the room i spend most the time in to take the chill off. winter is usaully terrible. my highest heating bill reaches 450-480 a month during jan and feb. thanks all that replied.
    mark
    Wow! that does suck to have a dead beat landlord yeah good luck on finding a better place to live
    WARNING:IF YOU DON'T KNOW THEN DON'T DO, SO THOSE WHO KNOW WHAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW DON'T END UP UNDOING WHAT YOU DID SO IT COULD GET DONE RIGHT!

  9. #9
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    Sep 2006
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    Morgantown,WV
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackturbo View Post
    I have found a few people that said the emergency heat will run up my bill. I have found that the furnace runs longer in normal heat mode, and in emergency heat it wont run a very long time and cycles on and off alot. which should I use ? thanks

    Mark
    When your unit heats the house faster with emergency heat, it satisfies the thermostat (turning it off) faster. Which in turn requires the unit to cycle on/off a lot more because the house should gradually rise to temp, to ensure even heat distribution for each area.

  10. #10
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    Middle Tennessee
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    *

    Quote Originally Posted by blackturbo View Post
    my highest heating bill reaches 450-480 a month during jan and feb. thanks all that replied.
    that's because your using the heat strips, and your space heater is waisting tons of energy

    a properly running heat pump in a mild climate (meaning not a lot of days under 20 degrees) with the t-stat

    set at 70 degrees should never drive your bill up that high



    .

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AcDOCnTRAINIG View Post
    There is no way that your electric heat banks alone will be more efficient than the outdoor unit.

    How about if the unit is not properly sized, or if the system is in very poor condition his heat pump may not be supplying the sufficient about of btu's to allow the system to cycle . Outdoor temp is also a big factor.

    Ex) If a poorly eff. 3 ton heat pump unit is has to run for 2-3 hours to heat up a home & maintain the temp.@ say 20amps/hr

    230v X 20a = 4600w X 3hrs= 13,800 watts

    A 10k.w electric heater is a guaranted 34,000 btu of heat so if that electric heater only has to run say 1 hr to heat the home then its consuming 10,000 watts.

    Mark hire a licensed profesional, its cheaper

    Your kidding me right??

    I was making a general reply to a general question sir. If you want to "what if" my statement to death have at it, if it makes you feel that important.
    Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things!

  12. #12
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    Middle Tennessee
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    Quote Originally Posted by AcDOCnTRAINIG View Post
    a poorly eff. 3 ton heat pump unit has to run for 2-3 hours to heat up a home & maintain the temp.@ say 20amps/hr

    if a 3 ton heat pump is pulling 20 amps in the heating cycle, it needs to be serviced!



    .

  13. #13
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    Sealing leaky windows, doors, and insulating the house will go a long way towards lessening your heat loss and lower your bills. Making sure your HP is running at peak efficiency is the other end of that stick. Knowing that your landlord is cheap there really isn't much you can do but try to convince him to take care of those things or move. That's a ridiculous bill, ask him have the hot water heater checked too make sure both elements are working. Assuming that it's electric of coarse.
    Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things!

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