Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    447
    Would it make sense to never install heat pump backup strips, and just use individual electric space heaters in whichever rooms need extra heat? If it makes sense, is it even legal?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    146
    No way. I wouldn't stand for having freezing cold air blowing into the house every time the heat pump wants to defrost.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    Why would you? a watt of electrical heat is a watt of electrical heat.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,879
    All rooms would need extra heat, so you would have electric baseboard heaters in every room.
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  5. #5
    i've done it before - but i usually put a 75,000 btu gas furnace under the coil.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,597
    it really depends where you are.

    the elec. strips only kick in when the heat pump can't keep up on it's own, and during defrost.

    if you live somewhere that the temps never get below, say, 35 degrees or so. go for it.

    just remember, during defrost the heat pump actually turns into the cooling mode.

    good luck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    447
    Thanks for all the replies. I guess the idea would be to manually turn off the heat pump when the outdoor temp drops below freezing, so that the defrost cycle is unnecessary. Sure, a watt of resistance heat is a watt of resistance heat, but you are talking about heating a whole house with strips vs. just rooms that are occupied, so I could see some substantial energy savings. I don't see any need for baseboard heaters if the rooms are small enough for portable space heaters to be adequate. Am I making more sense?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,597
    Originally posted by charles2
    Am I making more sense?

    no. the heat pump will go into defrost mode above freezing outdoor ambient temps., due to the fact that the refrigerant is pressure/temperature related. any moisture outside will easily freeze on the outdoor coil at outdoor temps of 55-60 degrees.

    once again, good luck.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    Originally posted by charles2
    Thanks for all the replies. I guess the idea would be to manually turn off the heat pump when the outdoor temp drops below freezing, so that the defrost cycle is unnecessary. Sure, a watt of resistance heat is a watt of resistance heat, but you are talking about heating a whole house with strips vs. just rooms that are occupied, so I could see some substantial energy savings. I don't see any need for baseboard heaters if the rooms are small enough for portable space heaters to be adequate. Am I making more sense?
    Im not busting your chops here Charles, merely making a point so dont take it personally...


    See this is the crap I hear from even so called seasoned techs who think HP's do nothing but waste power by running the compressor at temperatures below the balance point. A heat pump does the lions share of the heating of the home and the resistance heat makes up the gap. Yet how many people want to shut off the low cost side and operate the expensive side and then complain about the cost?

    Can it be that after all these years that even people in our own trade do not know how a hp works?

    Back to Charles... Do you plan on sealing off and insulating between the rooms, so that heat from one room doesnt get into another? How would you handle the rooms once it passes the point the HP can come back on? You cannot starve the indoor coil airflow. Have you ever tried to heat a room from unconditioned to conditioned with electric heat? While I see your thought process, I'm afraid its been tried unsuccessfully.

    BTW, hp coils dont freeze because of outdoor temps, the freeze because of the coil temperature and the amount of moisture in the outdoor air. You can freeze the outdoor coil at 40 degrees easily. I've frosted coils at 80. As an example, if you dirty up your filter enough in cooling mode, the indoor coil will freeze even though you have 75 degree air passing over it.

    Keep the grey matter working though, some of the best inventions came from nessessity.

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