KJ needs help! Heat Pump in MN


I have owned my home for 2 years...this is the coldest winter right now in many years. My house is at a chilly 45-50 degrees....my heat pump was working fine until this terrible weather came in (it's been well below zero...like 20 below on my thermometer).
Is it normal for the heat pump to not really warm my house above 50. (Keep in mind I live in a chalet/a-frame and the thermometer is on the windowed side of the house where it has drafty patio doors and house- entrace doors however, the back bedrooms are chilly too).
The heat pump is having to go into defrost cycle alot (of course, it's freezingggg out!) How would I know if there was something wrong with the heat pump and to call a technician? I can't tell if it's just because it's super cold out OR if there is sometihng wrong that it won't heat well. Is there a switch on my thermostat I can change to get me some heat (I read something about emergency heat/electric heat?) My house is all electric, no gas.
Help!?
KJ
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I have owned my home for 2 years...this is the coldest winter right now in many years. My house is at a chilly 45-50 degrees....my heat pump was working fine until this terrible weather came in (it's been well below zero...like 20 below on my thermometer).
Is it normal for the heat pump to not really warm my house above 50. (Keep in mind I live in a chalet/a-frame and the thermometer is on the windowed side of the house where it has drafty patio doors and house- entrace doors however, the back bedrooms are chilly too).
The heat pump is having to go into defrost cycle alot (of course, it's freezingggg out!) How would I know if there was something wrong with the heat pump and to call a technician? I can't tell if it's just because it's super cold out OR if there is sometihng wrong that it won't heat well. Is there a switch on my thermostat I can change to get me some heat (I read something about emergency heat/electric heat?) My house is all electric, no gas.
Help!?
KJ
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A heat pump system should be falling back on it's backup whether gas or electric when the temp goes below 35 degrees. What type of backup unit does yours have, and why isn't it kicking in?
--
Steve Barker


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On Feb 6, 8:43 am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Snipped the following from Wikipedia... -- Note that when there is a wide temperature differential, e.g., when heating a house on a very cold winter day, it takes more work to move the same amount of heat indoors as on a mild day. Ultimately, due to Carnot efficiency limits, the heat pump's performance will approach 1.0 as the outdoor-to-indoor temperature difference increases. This typically occurs around −18 °C (0 °F) outdoor temperature. Also, as the heat pump takes heat out of the air, some moisture in the outdoor air may condense and possibly freeze on the outdoor heat exchanger. The system must periodically melt this ice. In other words, when it is extremely cold outside, it is simpler, and wears the machine less, to heat using an electric-resistance heater than to strain an air-coupled heat pump. -- In other words, sounds like normal behaviour for a heat pump when it's cold enough to freeze your dog to the ground when he goes out to do his business. Never would have thought a heat pump was a good choice for Minnesota, wonder who talked the original owner into that choice?
Jerry
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At tte temperatures you are having up there, I am very surprised that the heat pump is doing anything at all, much less keeping the temp in the 40-50 range. If you have a typical HP thermostat, it should bring on the heat strips when the inside temp is about 2-3 degrees below the set temp, and most have either a light or some sort of icon to let you know the aux is on. My guess is that the aux is also on, to even be able to keep the house at the temp it is. The stat should also have a selector to choose between (cool-off-heat- emer heat). You need to find out what size aux heat you have, and that it is wired so that all the strips there are working. About the only way to do that is to measure the amp draw going to the strips. Larry
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On Feb 6, 7:44 am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Look for a button on the outside unit called a "high-limit" reset. Push it. Make sure your filter is clean. HTH. Tom
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

IIRc they don't work well in even moderate cold. They work by moving heat, and there aint no heat at -20.
fire up the wood stove. \\
Oh yeah, tighten up those patio doors. That clear shrinky stuff works wonders
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If it's air source, which it sounds like it is, I agree it doesn't sound like a sound idea for MN. This type system is used in warm to moderate climates, where temps in the teens aren't common. So, I doubt there is anything physically wrong with the system. Probably something wrong with whomever made the choice and installed it. A geothermal heat pump system would be OK, as would a dual fuel heat pump system with nat gas. Does it have electrical resistance type heat as backup? MAny do, but of course the electric bill is the next problem.
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