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Old 12-17-2009, 07:58 PM   #1
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Need help with Electric Furnace and HP


I live in a 1200sqft duplex. I have a heat pump outside with an electric furnace inside. Last year after 2 weeks of consistent days below 20 degrees, I had a $280 electric bill. The landlord's HVAC guy determined that I needed a different thermostat that gave me the ability to switch to EM heat only as I'm in Ohio. So, he installed a Honeywell TH3210D1004. My furnace is a really old Rheem with the following numbers on the inside:
REAB 1015JKX (Or JXK)
K F4475 5281

The heat pump is a Goodman CPKE24-18 Serial Number 9607116702

Anyway, last year after they installed the new thermostat, I didn't really notice any problems. But, after the $280 bill, I was happy with anything lower. Since we've had multiple days in the last two weeks that have been below 20, I've switched it to the EM heat option and the furnace will NOT kick off at all!
I have it set at 70. When the unit kicks on, EM HEAT ON lights up on the display. I can hear what I'm assuming is the fan running. Then I hear a 'click' on the thermostat and the AUX lights up and heat starts coming out of the vents. It gets back up to the desired temp and the AUX kicks off, but the EM HEAT ON stays on and the furnace continues to run. This is a continuous cycle and for 3 days it never kicked off. However, if I lower the 'set temp' from 70 to 68, it kicks off for about 45 seconds but then kicks back on when it's still 70 in the house and it's set at 68. And no, the fan option isn't set to ON, it's on AUTO. I've been home since 5:00 (it's almost 10 now) and it's not kicked off once.

I did pull the thermostat off the wall and discovered that it doesn't have all the wires hooked up and/or included. Based on the wiring diagram, it should have:
Black, Gray, Yellow, Green, Orange, Lavender, Red, Light Blue and Dark blue.

I have NO black and No lavender wires. There is a light blue 'floating' in there, but it's not wired to anything. Also, what should be Dark blue is actually beige...

Any suggestions as to what the problem might be?? My landlord is trying to tell me he thinks it's running continuously because the filter needed changed. He changed it and, shocker, it's still running.

If anyone can give me ideas as to where I might start looking, I'd greatly appreciate it!

I did check the programming codes on the thermostat this evening and discovered that the function #6 for the auxilliary heat cycle rate was set to 'gas or oil furnaces of less than 90% efficiency'. So, I changed it to the 'electric' since that is what applies to me... That would be a #9. But, it doesn't seem to have helped at all!

To give you a little back up, my KWH usage since I moved in on 01/01/09 has been:

Jan - 2360 (I didn't move in until 1/13)
Feb - 3827 (This was the $280)
Mar - 2572
Apr - 1600
May - 827
Jun - 499
Jul - 934
Aug - 758
Sep - 753
Oct - 596
Nov - 856
These are all actual readings, not estimated...

The electric company wouldn't tell me what the previous tenant's usage was (this was when I was irate in Feb), but they would tell me that I was using more than double the previous tenant. They checked the meter and said it was functioning fine and I have a newer roof, windows, etc. in the duplex.

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Old 12-17-2009, 08:41 PM   #2
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Need help with Electric Furnace and HP


First. Unless you want more 280 plus electric bills. Don't switch it to emergency heat.

Below 20 is NOT an emergency.

Also. Reset the aux CPH to 3. 9 will raise your electric bill, and cause too many short cycles.

I don't use that cheap of a thermostat. But, probably need to have a jumper between E and aux. that should stop the fan from running 24/7.

The other tenant probably keep the temp lower then you do.

Plus, its a mismatch system. Which your landlord isn't concerned about. Because it heats and cools.

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Old 12-17-2009, 08:53 PM   #3
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Need help with Electric Furnace and HP


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
First. Unless you want more 280 plus electric bills. Don't switch it to emergency heat.

Below 20 is NOT an emergency.

Also. Reset the aux CPH to 3. 9 will raise your electric bill, and cause too many short cycles.

I don't use that cheap of a thermostat. But, probably need to have a jumper between E and aux. that should stop the fan from running 24/7.

The other tenant probably keep the temp lower then you do.

Plus, its a mismatch system. Which your landlord isn't concerned about. Because it heats and cools.

Ok, I switched the AUX CPH back to 3 and turned the selector back to the regular heat setting (heat pump). Should I leave the EM CPH at 9 or adjust that down as well? You don't think I need to be concerned about the heat pump not pulling enough heat and the furnace running at the same time? Supposedly that is what was occurring last February when that whopper bill came.

In regards to the jumper, there is currently no wire attached to the E position in the thermostat.... That's the black wire that's non existent...
I'm missing the 'E', the 'L' and the 'B' isn't hooked up. Does that make sense??
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:01 PM   #4
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Need help with Electric Furnace and HP


Don't need the B. thats for a Rheem/Ruud outdoor unit. Won't work on a goodman.

If you have no wire to the E. thats why the fan is running 24/7 when you have it in emergency heat.

Set the emergency heat to 3 also. In case you or the maintainence/HVAC guy puts a jumper from E to aux.

The guy that told you that. Doesn't know what he's talking about.

At 20F outdoor temp. There is still a lot of heat in the air.

What temp were you setting your thermostat for back then. And how dirty was the air filter back then.
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:10 PM   #5
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Need help with Electric Furnace and HP


and turn it down to 66 when I leave for work. I'm gone usually 7a to 5p. Then when I get back, it goes back up to 68. I haven't dug out my humidifier yet so it of course feels colder in here because the air is so dry.

The filter was dirty two days ago, I'll admit that... But, when I moved in, the filter was brand new and I was still having the same problems. However, the HVAC guy did have to fill freon this summer as it wasn't cooling. Could that have been part of the problem last winter??

So, should I ask him to hook up the E or put in a jumper or just leave it alone?? It's apparent the guy is clueless... He's also very patronizing which bugs me to no end. He acts as if he wants to pat me on the head and say, 'It's ok honey, I know it's cold out! Just push this button and everything will be ok!' It doesn't help that my landlord is from another country, barely speaks understandable english and I have to communicate with him through his daughter...

Anyway, so you recommend I NEVER take it off the heat pump setting, correct?
Thanks!
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:25 PM   #6
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Need help with Electric Furnace and HP


Quote:
However, the HVAC guy did have to fill freon this summer as it wasn't cooling. Could that have been part of the problem last winter??
BINGO!!!
You were low on charge, and the heat pump couldn't do its job right. The same as it couldn't cool right in the summer.
And that guy didn't either want to, or doesn't know how(many don't) to check the charge in winter.

Only time to switch to emergency heat, is when the outdoor unit is non functional, having trouble such as its snowed over(5 foot of snow prevents them from working too well until you shovel them out).

Or, your getting freezing rain. Switch to emergency until rain is done.

Unless the E and aux are jumped. The fan will come on and blow cold air when in emergency heat. Its not real important ot have it jumped. Since you really shouldn't be using it much if at all.

But it is nice to have things work the right way.



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Old 12-17-2009, 09:33 PM   #7
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Need help with Electric Furnace and HP


You've definitely made me feel better! I've been so stressed out over this for the last year. Hopefully this solves the problem and I don't have to fear the middle of the month with the electric bill comes anymore! LOL!

I'll give it a few days and shoot you an update to let you know how things are going.

And, I'm seriously praying that we DON'T get that 5 feet of snow!
*grin*
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:38 PM   #8
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Need help with Electric Furnace and HP


Oh.

And not sure on that thermostat. But. many will bring on the aux heat. if you raise the set temp by 2 above room temp. So you might want to only increase it by 1 when you first come home. And give it some time to raise that 1 before you raise it to the next degree.

If you've been running it on emergency heat for a few days. You might be getting a higher bill then you expected.

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