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Old 02-01-2012, 06:46 PM   #1
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Strip heaters coming on


I have a Trane heat pump about 5 yrs old so I can tell there is something different about the way it is operating. This winter for the first time my heat turns off before it reaches the thermostat setting and it freezes me blowing cold air. When I turn up the heat in the mornings about 5 degrees it always smells like the strip heaters are coming on. I have a $400 electric bill and we have had a mild winter, so far. I had someone come out to service it but he said everything is ok and it doesn't need freon, etc.

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Old 02-01-2012, 07:01 PM   #2
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Strip heaters coming on


Your thermostat sounds as though it may be acting up

You have a heat pump and that is your 1st stage heat then the electric strip will be your 2nd stage heat.

Typically when a thermostat is set up there will be a 2 degree difference for the first stage to come on and either 3 or 4 degree difference for the 2nd stage heat to come on.

Lets say the the thermostat is set at 70 deg. When the temp drops to 68 the heat pump comes on and lets say that the temp drops to 67 deg then the 2nd stage turns on.

You made the comment that you raise the temp 5 degrees I would thing that you are making the heat strip come yourself.

But you could have your heatpump going into defrost mode and the furnace blowing cold air more thus cooling the house and lowering the temp low enough to turn on the 2nd stage heat

How cold was it there when the service tech checked the freon level?

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Old 02-01-2012, 07:10 PM   #3
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Strip heaters coming on


The temp was about 60 degrees when he came to check it out. Also, I have never noticed this smell before except when I switch from ac to heat in the fall. I assume this smell is coming from the strips.

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Old 02-01-2012, 07:17 PM   #4
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Strip heaters coming on


That's not warm enough outside to get an accurate reading. Not a load on the system when checking by A/C mode

I always advise customers with heat pums to have the system serviced late in the summer. The ONLY way to determine the freon level or system charge is correct is to remove all the freon out and weigh it back in when temps are below 65 deg.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:26 PM   #5
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Strip heaters coming on


We are in another heatwave right now. They are predicting mid to high 60's all week. Do you think I should just tell the service guy to bring me some freon?
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:31 PM   #6
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Strip heaters coming on


Quote:
Originally Posted by Plumber101 View Post
But you could have your heatpump going into defrost mode and the furnace blowing cold air more thus cooling the house and lowering the temp low enough to turn on the 2nd stage heat
Do tell.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:35 PM   #7
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Hi Doc, are you agreeing with Plumber101 or are you saying I should ask for freon?
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:38 PM   #8
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Strip heaters coming on


MOst service companies carry freon with them.

I would have the service company check the thermostat to make sure it is set up properly.

Ask the service company what the sub-cooling is? Without seeing the unit it will be close to 10

Ask if the defrost board and the defrost sensor could be tested.

The defrost board responds from a sensor in the condenser, when the sensor reaches 28 deg it will send the condenser into defrost mode. I have seen bad boards and sensors causing an intermitant problem.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:39 PM   #9
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Strip heaters coming on


Quote:
Originally Posted by cozmoss View Post
We are in another heatwave right now. They are predicting mid to high 60's all week. Do you think I should just tell the service guy to bring me some freon?
Just putting in refrigerant will not solve anything if it is not needed. The tech can tell if it is low, it just depends on his skill level. It may be a txv problem or something else. With $400 a month electric bills, you know something has changed! If it is the way you are setting your thermostat that is different then yes, that would cause it. A 5 degree differential WILL bring on the strip heaters.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:40 PM   #10
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Strip heaters coming on


I'm saying when a heat pump goes into defrost the blower shuts down to not blow cold air into the dwelling.

No, I'm not saying anything other than that.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:43 PM   #11
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Strip heaters coming on


I have made a note of your suggestions and I will let you know after they check this out.
Thank you so much.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I'm saying when a heat pump goes into defrost the blower shuts down to not blow cold air into the dwelling.

No, I'm not saying anything other than that.

DOC, the outdoor fan shuts off in defrost. The indoor fan continues to run and the aux heat is turned on to temper the air while in defrost as it is basically a cooling cycle.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:46 PM   #13
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Strip heaters coming on


I'm saying when a heat pump goes into defrost the blower shuts down to not blow cold air into the dwelling.

No, I'm not saying anything other than that.[/quote]


All of the Heat pumps that I have services don't do that. Some will blow cold and some will turn on the 2nd stage heat so that the HO doesn't even know that the condenser has gone into defrost.

Without the inside blower can you tell me how the heat exchange works?

You absoutly need the insode blower running in defrost mode.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:29 PM   #14
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Strip heaters coming on


with the electric heat strips on to continually blow warm air, but it will not blow cool air.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvactech126 View Post
DOC, the outdoor fan shuts off in defrost. The indoor fan continues to run and the aux heat is turned on to temper the air while in defrost as it is basically a cooling cycle.
yes, thanks.

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