Ok, so I spent a little bit of time piddling with the system this afternoon (no pics yet, sorry)..
So I was able to force the AUX (Emergency) heat by raising the thermostat setting, then hitting the EMER button. Got the house to 74* in about an hour, if that.
I double-checked the registers, and made some adjustments so to help 'balance' the rooms.. At this time, I also adjusted the SWING to 2.5*F.
Note: The thermostat is close to a corner in the dining room (about 5ft off the floor, and about 2ft from an inside-corner. I'm thinking I may need to relocate this further away from the corner?
So all registers (including upstairs) was blowing warm air while the AUX was on. I felt the freon lines on the system and one was luke warm, the other was about 3-4 seconds before I had to let go, due to hotness.
I turned the temp back down to 69*F (room temp dropped to 71 from 74 once the AUX kicked off) and the heat stayed on for quite a bit longer.. I think this may be due to the SWING value set too high? So I changed the SWING to 1.25*F and will see how that goes for switching the heat on/off due to indoor temps.
It's really hard to test it now, as my wife has built a fire in the forced-air wood stove..
@ jagans: I understood the 'pushing a chain' analogy. I use the 'pushing a rope' one all the time.. :-)
I spoke with a local HVAC business this morning, and he stated that the heat pump is in the gray area, as far as climates here, but they're much less expensive than a dual setup LP/Natural Gas setup, which is why this area seems to use HPs a lot.
I've got a Tremont Wood Stove insert in the fireplace, that is forced air. We use it as an auxiliary heat source, but I need to go cut more firewood.. It's 20 yrs old, and not really efficient as newer units.. I've considered replacing it with something else (newer) like maybe a pellet stove or better wood stove.. That doesn't FIX my hvac issue, but it does help, in the meantime, as well as keeps my electric bill under $400/mo..!!!