Hi Fellas! Well our heat pump, furnace, air cleaner, humidifier, Honeywell TH8320 Vision Pro 2 stage thermostat with outdoor temperature sensor, hot water heater and water condition system are all installed. All seem to be working except for the outdoor sensor and the heat pump. I called Honeywell this morning .. they said the reason the outdoor temperature is not showing on the thermostat is because it was not properly calibrated by the contractor. I will call him.
My greater concern is that I read in the thermostat handbook a thing called “Em. Heat” It didn’t clearly explain just what this meant .. talks about “Heat pump is not operational”. Then in the Heat Pump hand book it talked about a “Heat Pump Monitor” that could be installed that would check the performance of the heat pump and turn it off if a problem occurred. It would then switch to the furnace and turn on an Emergency Heat Light on the thermostat to let us know the system requires attention!
Since we can be out of town for a month at a time it makes sense to install this monitor. I tried to find information on the internet on a “heat pump monitor” but came up with nothing that made sense to me .. nor a supplier .. nor description.
Since the contractor we hired is a jolly good fellow .. BUT made out that he had WAY more experience with heat pumps than we think he really had .. BUT has had the good sense to bring in the technical people from his distributor .. I feel more comfortable if I can present him with written “heat pump monitor” information so that I make sure he buys the proper product. I am a “babe in the woods” and wouldn’t have a clue what he is doing .. I wouldn’t know until the whole system crashes and we are out of town!
I guess my questions are 2:
1. Where can I get a good written description for a “heat pump monitor” as well as a supplier that would be compatible with a Rudd UPMD heat pump and the above thermostat
2. How does a layperson even HOPE to know if the above upteeeeeen components are working properly and effectively together and in the most efficient manner? I kinda feel lost!!
I really appreciate all the help you fellas have given me through all these trials and tribulations .. we are nearing the end .. thank you SOOOO much!
Your Ruud/Rheem dealer can supply you with the monitor.
The part number should be RXPM-B01, but you need to get that verified by your local contractor.
He is the one that will need to install it & maintain.
I don't know if it is compatable with your thermostat.
Emergency heat is a mode that is manually commanded by the user when they become aware that there is some problem with the heat pump. It forces the system to rely on your backup heat source exclusively. In this case, going into Emergency Heat mode would just use the furnace as you would in a non-dual-fuel system.
In a dual fuel system, at least where somebody is at home, you will know when the heat pump performance suddenly drops off, because the air coming out of the vents isn't going to be as warm as usual. Depending on settings, you will either start losing your ability to keep the house warm, or the furnace will start running when it wouldn't normally need to.
I wouldn't discourage you from getting the heat pump monitor. They are intended more for traditional heat pump applications, though, where the auxilary heat is electric. In those systems, if the heat pump performance drops off but the heat pump keeps running, the electric backup covers the shortfall so neatly that many people wouldn't notice the difference until their electric bill came. The performance monitor helps the user notice the problem, then. I'm not sure about interfacing with the thermostat, but as I remember the installer can make the light on the VisionPro do about anything he wants.
How do you know when things are working properly?
-Air cleaner. If it's a media filter, there's nothing to go wrong, just change the filter on the appointed schedule. Electronic air cleaners need lots of maintenance (maybe monthly). You want the light on an EAC to be on when the system is running, and you want to find dirt on the collector grid each time you clean it. If suddenly one month there's no dirt, it may be that it wasn't working that month (that's why I don't like them).
-Humidifier. If the humidity drops much below the setpoint in heating season, it's not working right. The main thing on these is that they require annual service, at a minimum.
-Heat pump in cooling season: You would want to watch for it suddenly having to run more than it usually would, given the current weather. You might also notice a sudden lack of dehumidification if its performance dropped off.
-Heat pump in heating season: It should be able to keep the house warm on its own anytime the outside temperature is above the balance point. That point varies by application, but is typically 35-40 degrees. Below that point, all heat will be provided by the furnace, no matter what.
-Furnace: If you can hear it, tune in and listen to the sounds it makes. If you get used to it sounding a certain way and then things change, worry. If it tries to start up, it should start up on the first try. If there's a call for heat, it should run until the call for heat is satisfied. The burner should not cycle off at any point during a call for heat.
-Water heater: Not much a homeowner can to do to these, except for maybe connecting a garden hose to the drain port and flushing it out once a year or so.
-Water conditioning: If you have a softener, you'll notice that the water makes your skin feel strangely slippery when wet. Soap will lather like mad, to the point that you can hardly use a small enough amount. It may feel like you have a hard time getting any amount of soap to rinse off. As for filtration, you can't do much but go by taste unless you want to routinely send your filtered water off to a lab for testing.
I bought a cheap digital indoor/outdoor thermometer at Home Depot (the kind with a little temperature sensor on a wire that you're supposed to poke outside so you can measure the outdoor temperature). I stuck the little sensor inside one of my heating vents so I could always keep an eye on what the system was doing. In a given mode, after all, the system will typically always put out about the same temperature air after its had a few minutes to get going; seeing a big shift from the usual would probably indicate a problem. For example, my dual fuel system typically puts out 58-62 degree air in AC mode, 55 if it's trying to dehumidify. Heat pump heating usually comes out at 95-100 degrees. Furnace heat is about 120. Your numbers may be different, but again, once you get a sense of the system's baseline, a change would suggest a problem.
Finally, everything you mentioned needs routine maintenance.
HEAT PUMP MONITER
Thank you SO much!
I am going to print this information out and hold on to it! What good information! I can't thank you enough!
With replacing every single mechanical in our home this has been a bit of a trying experience .. you fellas have made it so much easier with your informed opinions. I've felt like I've had a good friend advising me! Thank you again!