Heat Pump Thermostat Replacement


The thermostat on my heat pump is temperamental and needs to be replaced. Since it is simple to replace it, I intend to do it myself, if I can purchase the correct replacement. How can I determine which one I need? It doesn't have a model number on it anywhere. The manufacturer is the same company that private labels them for Carrier and others (Topline, or something like that.)
Home Depot and Lowes carry the Honeywell replacements that should work fine, but I don't know which one to get. I'm not optimistic that if I take the old one to the store with me that the salesperson would be able to determine which one I need.
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I would open the unit and see which terminals have wires connected to them. Check to see that any replacement has the same terminal letters as the ones you require
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RBM wrote:

Take a photograph of the wiring connections as they are before you disconnect. Also consider getting a programmable 'stat if you don't have one now just so you can be comfortable when you are at home but don't have to feel guilty about heating/cooling the house when you're not.
nate
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wrote:

Do they make more than one kind? I don't mean are there more than one brand, or more than one set of features. Just that I thought all heat pumps were alike.

Just to be clear, you mean the unit installed now.

Last I heard, setback stats don't work with heat pumps, because they put out so little heat, if you let them fall behind they can't catch up. Was this true? Is it still true?

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That's an interesting question and it would seem to me it could be an issue with heat pump systems. Setting the thermostat back overnight is going to give you the most advantage when the temp difference between inside and outside is greatest. And the lower the outside temp the less efficient a heat pump becomes. So, when setting it back would do the most good, it will also take longer to recover. That would suggest that setting back heat pump systems in general will lead to less percentage savings compared to other systems, ie oil, gas.
Another factor is you need to be sure if it has electric aux heat that setting it back doesn't result in that kicking in when it goes to recover.
As far as thermostats, I would recommend a Honeywell VisionPro. They are compatible with just about every kind of system, very programmable with a use friendly LCD panel screen, and also have adaptive recovery. That feature lets you set the thermostat for the time and temp you want and the thermostat figures out how much earlier to actually initiate the change so it will be at the desired temp at the desired time.
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The main problem is that if the temperature drops too far below the set point the system will call for expensive resistance heating to catch up. One "solution" (which I have used) is to disconnect 2/3rds of the electric auxilary strip heaters. (There are still there but on a second breaker. Were the heat pump to fail and I NEEDED the resistance heating I could just flip a breaker and be back to normal.)
A secondary problem is that the heat "pump" is more effective/efficient when the outside air temperature is closer to the room air temperature. If you turn the setting back at night the system will try to catch up when the indoor/outdoor temperature is at the daily maximum.
I don't have much science to back me up but I decided that setting the system back was more trouble than it was worth. Among other things, our "outside unit" doesn't have a heater to keep the oil warm enough to function well. Thus, our system depends upon regular operation to ensure reasonable lubrication on start up.
Some very sophiscated/efficient systems come with the fancy thermostats as part of the package. They automatically "do the math" and find the most efficient way to accomplish the set back (which you determine). In you just have a simple heat pump, I wouldn't use an offset thermostat for heating OR cooling.
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On Sat, 26 Sep 2009 18:48:10 -0400, "John Gilmer"

BTW, I heard about this 25 years ago when I was getting a setback stat for my house and offerred to put one in my girlfriend's house. She told me that they didn't work with heat pumps. Later after I didn't like her anymore, I talked to her ex-husband and he told me how she would turn the heat down when she left for work a half hour before he got up, and he was thin, and cold every winter morning because of what she did. She had said that she was paying for the heat so she was in charge of it. She made more money that he did.
She seemed very nice and accomodating at first, but her first husband said the greatest day of his life was the day the divorce was final. Met her two husbands and 2 major boyfriends all at work. But at least I was smart enough not to marry her.
More at the bottom.

Isn't a heat pump as good as any air conditioner when used for cooling?
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I don't have any thing to back that up either, but I still feel like most of the energy saving things are just like the things you add to your car to get beter milage. Just something to sell and make you feel good about it. I have a heatpump and set it to one temperature in the summer and another in the winter. Almost never change it unless something unusual hapens. Sometimes in the fall and spring I do have to change it from heat to cool in the mornings and evenings for a few weeks.
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On Sat, 26 Sep 2009 21:00:08 -0400, "Ralph Mowery"

Well, no longer talking about heat pumps, talking about oil furnaces etc. it's true that a lot of what you save when it's not as warm at night or in the middle of the day, you lose when you finally have to warm a colder place up. But the entire time the house is colder, it is transmitting less heat to the outside (in the winter), and when warmer in the summer, accepting less heat from the outside.
Considering that my seback stat has lasted 25 years so far, the outlay per year was small.
It's not a new notino. My mother, at least since 1946 but probably before that, always turned the stat down from 68 two or four degrees when we went to bed, and she just tolerated the cold when she woke up in the morning, until she had adjusted the stat and the house warmed up. And I did too on weekday mornings when I got up almost as early as she did.
I have no doubt that turning down the stat (or up in the summer) save energy for the homeowner and society**. The advantage of the fancy stat is not that it adjusts the temperature, one can do that manually. It's that one doesn't have to wake up cold in the morning (or hot in the summer for people who use AC)
**Plus the balance of payments to oil producing countries, plus the pollution, the fuel waste disposal costs, the added heat to the outside in the summer and even in the winter. There are a lot of costs to wasting heating and cooling.

I haven't thought much about heatpumps. I've just read Tony's post that they are designed to work with them now and it will take me a few years before I come across enough info to reach a conclusion. And since I don't have a heat pump, and only have about 30 years to live, I may well be dead by the time I reach the conclusion. Please come to my hospital room and I will try to tell you what my conclusions are.

In a period like that, I would just open the windows and take life as it comes.

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With the hay fever and allegories my wife and I have , we have not opened the windows in about 30 years for any heating or cooling. Well one Christmas or Thanksgivings day we did open the doors as it go too hot in the house with all the family and cooking. We are in a mild climate area so the total electric bill is around $ 150 per month. We do have a heat pump and about 1800 sq. ft.
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Ralph Mowery wrote:

Hi, How much does it break down into KW/h? I pay 7 cents CAD per KW/h.
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Just got the bill for this month. I am paying 8.5 cents in US dollars. Think it was about $ 134 for 1580 KW/h. This is on the Duke Energy system.
Just me and my wife are living here now. The house is all electric with the heat pump. I do have a wood stove in the basement but seldom use it. Sometimes I will fire it up if the lowes are going to be in the low 20s deg F. at night. Mainly just incase the power goes out. My 5 KW generator will not run the heat pump. Atleast I don't think it will. I have not looked to see how much power it will take to run a 2.5 ton unit. I also have a well so no water if the power goes out.
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On Sat, 26 Sep 2009 22:22:25 -0400, "Ralph Mowery"

Okay, you have a good point. I have problems but they don't get worse when I open the window.

I wish I kept records. I keep receipts but never total them, so I don't know much.

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John Gilmer wrote:

Hi, I think you are talking about earlier programmable 'stats. Latest ones are quite smart. It learns itself to work effectively. Definitely they save energy. You can even do multiple programming. Only thing I do with it is I hang it down stairs in winter, I move it up stairs in summer being wireless programmable one.
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wrote:

Wireless sounds like a good idea, especially since I keep piling things in front of mine on the wall and can barely get to it.
And then I could have it by my bed at night. I know there have been times I wanted to adjust the heat.
However if I had wireless, i would lose it like I lost the remote to one tv 6 months ago. I'm not kidding.
Does it have remote beeping function like some cordless phones?
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mm wrote:

Hi, New micro-processor controlled programmable ones can handle HP. It is learning 'stat.
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mcp6453 wrote:

Hi, After finding out how many stage(s) of heating/cooling your system has buy a proper Honeywell one. For a start, take a look how many wires are on your 'stat. I am biased as an ex-Honeyweller.
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