My Heat Pump

Strange, I've had this "Air Transfer" heat pump for four years now. The other three winters, when I turn the heat on even with the outside temps at 40 degrees or better the heat pump would go to auxiliary heat and just stay there most of the time.
Something must have happened and I don't know what. The heat pump stays on regular heat like is should and only switch to auxiliary heat occasionally like it should even if the outside temps are down to 10 degrees and as long as I don't set the thermostat more than a couple of degrees above the inside temp.
When the outside temps get down to 25 - 30 degrees, it still won't keep the house warm by itself tho. But now I can use the heat pump more in conjunction with the pellet stove. The heat pump keeps the bedroom and bathroom warmer and the pellet stove keeps the living room and kitchen warm.
I still want to put in a different furnace when I get back to working tho. I want a furnace that will heat the whole house by itself when the pellet stove acts up and probably even move the pellet stove to just backup heat. But I think my only choices are propane or fuel oil. We don't have a natural gas pipeline on this side of the interstate this far from town. I like the idea of propane better than fuel oil but isn't propane about the most expensive per BTU?
-C-
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Country wrote:

Quite possibly you've had a loss of fluid in the system. The guts of the system may be still in warranty if this is a new house--five years on compressor/etc., isn't terribly unusual.
As for propane vs fuel oil cost, only a check of local prices can tell you as they're so variable depending on the location.
--
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heat when it is 40 degrees, unless you turn the thermostat up over 2 or 3 deg at one time. If the aux heat comes on at anytime (except for a short time during the defrost cycle) when the temperature outside is above 30 deg then something is wrong or you are turing the thermostat up and down too much. Those first 3 winters sound like you were using the aux heat all the time.
I hope you have not been treating the temperature control like a gas or oil furnace. You should set the heat pump to one setting and leave it there. Do not turn it up and down during the day and night.
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Strange, I've had this "Air Transfer" heat pump for four years now.

That could have been my problem. Maybe I was asking too much at a time when I turned the heat pump on and it went directly to the auxiliary source to increase the indoor temps quicker.
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Some people do not have a good understanding of heat pumps, especially if they have had oil or gas heat. A heat pump will not change the temperature of a house very fast if going up more than one or two deg at a time. As you probably noticed the temperature comming out of the heat registers is not very hot compaired to gas heat. If it is, the aux heat strips are cutting on and you are not really using much of the heat pump, but mostly the electric (expensive) heat strips.
I know a person that had a small service type operation. He was in and out of his business many times of the day. When he went out he would cut the heat down and back up when he came back. His electric bill was way high. Then he left it set at one temperature, the bill went way down.
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On 12/30/2010 9:32 AM, Country wrote:

bad, or the control system that the sensor is connected to, is bad.
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Art Todesco wrote: ...

Or the system was installed w/o one.
I'd agree it's worth checking out; ideally one would have it such that until outside temp's are below somewhere in the 20s to 30F the aux heat won't come on unless manually requested; not just the 2F dT that most basic thermostats use.
W/ that I'd comment that never had any issues as another poster says of turning down the heat pump at night and back up in morning just as any other system; only didn't use quite as much of a setback as might have w/ gas forced air, but it still is a net improvement (again, assuming one doesn't use the aux resistance heat excessively).
--
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FWIW, you may be able to get NG on your side of the highway. Some years ago I had the exact same problem and when the area built up a bit to about three or four potential customers, the gas company surprised us one day by sending in a crew that had a line installed in only a couple of days. They paid for the first 60' of gas line to each building, with a modest per foot fee after that. My biggest loss was from writing off a nearly new propane gas heater (for some reason conversion parts weren't available). Converting propane heat was no problem even on some rather ancient Modine hanging shop heaters. So let the gas utility know you'd be interested in service and in the meantime buy propane appliances that covert readily to NG. Most gas ranges will do that these days.
Joe
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<snip>

Consider getting a dual fueled setup. It will use NG or propane as the AUX heat and a heat pump for when it is not too cold. Mine is set to use the heat pump until it gets down to about 32 degrees and then it will switch to NG. It will also switch to NG if you turn the temp up too quickly. Another nice feature is that you can switch to NG and run the system off a generator when the power fails.
--
Jim Rusling
More or Less Retired
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That sounds good since I will want to keep the heat pump anyway. The heat pump is very efficient when it's not real cold.
-C-
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I've got a high efficiency propane furnace with a heat pump. The heat pump has 2 stages, which is especially nice in the summertime when you don't need much AC, but do need dehumidification. Not sure how much the dual stage heat pump improves things when heating. I have a 4KW generator in my motor home which is always connected to the generator inlet port on the house, so if there is a power failure, I just go out to the RV and start the generator. I keep the tank pretty full, so there is at least 35 or so gallons. I then flip the breakers to the aux/emergency panel and we have power in much of the house. I then dial emergency on the thermostat and we have heat using propane. It worked real well during a 4 hour power outage in November.
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I have a gas generator that will run most of the house but not the heat pump in winter.
If I wind up getting a propane setup, I will also try to get a more powerful generator that also runs on propane.
-C-
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certainly under 10 amps. And the newer furnaces, take even less. Basically, you need enough to run the controls, the blower, and a small air induction blower, which more new models have.
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