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  1. #1

    Upgraded to new Hunter model 44860 thermostat and now no emergency heat

    I have an original Westinghouse air handler/ heat pump set up from 1979 which the heat pump does not work and hasn't since I bought the house. The emergency heat function in the air handler works fine. I have 2 wood stoves that heat the house primarily which is why the heat pump has never been repaired. I do however use the emergency heat function through the night once the fires cool off to keep the house at a decent temperature until the morning fire is lit. My problem now is that when I upgraded my thermostat (purely for the updated look alone as the other unit worked fine), I lost my emergency heat function. The thermostat displays that the emergency heat is on and the blower runs, but only cool air comes out. My old thermostat had two settings for Aux heat. The switch would either be in normal or you could slide it to emergency. In normal mode the fan would run and it seemed like a very luke warm air almost cool air would blow out. If I moved it to the emergency setting, the fan would slow a bit and the heat would definitely come on. I figured the fan slowed because of the new high electric draw from the heat strips.

    My first question would be: Are there two different heat settings for the electric air handler heat like a low and high?

    Secondly, if this is the case is it possible what is happening is that my new thermostat is only signaling a low heat start up and not the full strength that I need? It kind of seems like it is running like my old thermostat did on the "normal" setting with the blue Aux light on.

    Any ideas?? We called Hunter and as far as they are concerned we have all of the wires hooked up right and it is not firing up the heating element.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Las Vegas,NV
    Posts
    746
    Cant offer tips for your repair as DIY is not allowed here but you need to ditch that Hunter thermostat, they are junk.
    Your best bet is to call in a contractor to replace it with a good Honeywell stat.

    Second, you really should repair your heat pump! That emergency heat that you are using is far less efficient than the heat pump.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The Twilight Zone
    Posts
    2,964
    Quote Originally Posted by hlmaint View Post
    I do however use the emergency heat function through the night once the fires cool off to keep the house at a decent temperature until the morning fire is lit.
    Electric resistance heat is very expensive. The heat pump can be 3x less expensive that straight electric, depending on ambient temp.

    Get the heat pump fixed.

    Take care.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the info Sammy. Eventually I am going to replace the whole system as the heat pump is beyond repair with damage and I would like to upgrade to a high efficiency system. Just not ready for that yet. Any other forums you know of that can help me figure this out?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by hlmaint View Post
    Any other forums you know of that can help me figure this out?
    The links would be deleted by the Moderators.

    Do a Google search.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
    Gary,

    Yes, I know it is a horribly expensive way to heat my home but it is just a back up for me as wood is my primary heat. I have a virtually endless supply as long as I don't ever go out of business! lol I plan on having a whole new system installed within a year or two as the heat pump has been non functional for over 10 years and then physically damaged and can not be repaired at this point. Plus my air handler is quite loud when running versus newer units. Not to mention that it is all over 30 years old.

    I was just trying to figure out if anyone had any theories why the new thermostat would not trigger the emergency heat.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    4,842
    Hunter 800 tech?
    A good HVAC tech knows how, an educated HVAC tech knows why!

    DEM


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    The Twilight Zone
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    Quote Originally Posted by hlmaint View Post
    Yes, I know it is a horribly expensive way to heat my home but it is just a back up for me as wood is my primary heat. I have a virtually endless supply as long as I don't ever go out of business!
    I am jealous of your firewood supply.

    I use a woodburning insert in a masonry fireplace to suppliment my heat pump.

    It's getting more difficult for me to scrounge free firewood because of all of the development that has occurred in the northern Baltimore suburbs. Many of my "spots" are now houses and/or strip malls.

    I paid $170 for a cord at the beginning of the heating season which is a good price for this area.

    Take care.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    523
    Gary, curious where you are located. I'm in Harford Cty. And yes with all the new development fire wood is impossible to find free (land) and hard to find cheap. I've yet to see 170 a cord, I'd consider that luck. Hope it last. I know some people that will let me get it for free but I'm too lazy anymore. I just as soon pay BGE for the nat gas...

    If you want I can come put you in a high efficiency heat pump / gas furnace...hahaha

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Las Vegas,NV
    Posts
    746
    Quote Originally Posted by gary_g View Post
    I am jealous of your firewood supply.

    I use a woodburning insert in a masonry fireplace to suppliment my heat pump.

    It's getting more difficult for me to scrounge free firewood because of all of the development that has occurred in the northern Baltimore suburbs. Many of my "spots" are now houses and/or strip malls.

    I paid $170 for a cord at the beginning of the heating season which is a good price for this area.

    Take care.
    We had an insert in one of our houses when I was growing up, best thing we ever did after trying to heat the house with the fireplace! We had 18 foot ceilings in the living room and used to go through about seven cords of wood every winter. I dont miss the days of having to get up at three in the morning to head up to the mountains and cut firewood, then bring it back, split and stack it!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CynicX View Post
    Gary, curious where you are located. I'm in Harford Cty. And yes with all the new development fire wood is impossible to find free (land) and hard to find cheap. I've yet to see 170 a cord, I'd consider that luck. Hope it last. I know some people that will let me get it for free but I'm too lazy anymore. I just as soon pay BGE for the nat gas...

    If you want I can come put you in a high efficiency heat pump / gas furnace...hahaha
    We are neighbors. I am also in Harford County. Near Bel Air.

    The firewood that I get is from a local farmer down the road. I've been getting wood from him for the past 5 years. I get a cord of mixed hardwood for $170. I'm too cheap to pay the extra $10 for all oak. He always gives me a full cord (128 cubic feet) and never shorts me. When I started with him, he was $130/cord.

    I don't have natural gas, all-electric home.

    In 2007, I replaced a fully functional 21 year-old Trane heat pump (maybe 8 SEER) with a 14 SEER / 12 EER / 9 HSPF Goodman. I researched this purchase to death which is how I wound up on this great site. I replaced my old heat pump to combat the 72% rise in electric rates from BGE thanks to de-regulation without competition.

    I estimate that the new pump has reduced my summer power consumption by 40%. It has already paid for itself in energy savings, based on what I paid for the system. I also switch from BGE whenever I get a better rate. Right now I'm with Washington Gas & Electric for 1 year and saving 2 cents per kw-hr.

    Take care.

  12. #12
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    Jun 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by sammy37 View Post
    We had an insert in one of our houses when I was growing up, best thing we ever did after trying to heat the house with the fireplace! We had 18 foot ceilings in the living room and used to go through about seven cords of wood every winter. I dont miss the days of having to get up at three in the morning to head up to the mountains and cut firewood, then bring it back, split and stack it!
    I am a city slicker but have been in the 'burbs for 9 years.

    I enjoy taking my chainsaw out and scavenging for free wood. My wife says I am addicted to free firewood and I need to attend meetings at Free Firewood Anonymous

    I like stacking and splitting. Good excercise. Maybe I'll get tired of it after 20 years, but not yet.

    Take care.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Las Vegas,NV
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    746
    Quote Originally Posted by gary_g View Post
    I am a city slicker but have been in the 'burbs for 9 years.

    I enjoy taking my chainsaw out and scavenging for free wood. My wife says I am addicted to free firewood and I need to attend meetings at Free Firewood Anonymous

    I like stacking and splitting. Good excercise. Maybe I'll get tired of it after 20 years, but not yet.

    Take care.
    Yeah see, it's different for you. I on the other hand, was forced to get up on Saturday morning to go cut wood. How many 14 year olds do you know that would rather do that than hang out with friends on the weekend!

    I took a vow that when I grew up, I wanted nothing more than to turn a thermostat up and down for heat!

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