I am not sure what your question is. A heat pump drews heat out of the
outside air and pumps it inside to warm your home. The electric heater is
there when either a defrost cycle kicks in or the outside temperature is too
low to suck out enough heat to be practical.
It really depends on the average outside winter temperature and the cost of
electricity. If you live in a mild climate and only have a few really cold
days it is not worth worrying about the cost of the electric heat.
If however you live in a really cold climate and electricity is expensive
then adding some sort of fossil fuel furnace option makes a lot of sense, or
perhaps a geothermal heat pump would be a better match.
Where do you live and how are the electric rates?
If you are not part of the solution, you are not dissolved in the solvent.
Yeah. What the other said. The Thermostat for my heat pump has setting
labeled "Em Heat" which sets the heat to just the electric back up. It
runs my electric bill up big time and still won't keep the house warm
when temps gets into the 20's.
Damn. Sounds odd. I remember a couple of places I had a heat pump. When I
flipped it to Em the air coming out of the vent was like 120. That should
be more than adequate unless the unit is severely inadequate, no
insulation, disco'd ducts, etc. Don't know if the "heat strips" are
multiple independent in which case one might be out.
The EM on the unit I just installed here has three strips, each strip
has a separate contactor, two are on one power feed and one is on a
separate power feed. The contactors coils are wired in parallel by
default, with a splice that can be removed to operate them in two
stages, one of two strips and the third strip separate.
It sure could be that the dipshit that was married to my niece that
talked me into letting him install that thing didn't do a good job.
Didn't know what a dipshit he was until he started slapping his wife
around. I'm doing alright with the pellet stove and a couple of space
heaters this year but I am thinking of getting a good furnace
installer out here to access the whole setup and make the necessary
Heat strips are wired in parallel, usually at 5 KW per bank, although
not always. Often the strips are sized to keep the HP from blowing ice
cubes during defrost, and to supplement the HP, not to supply necesssary
heat by themselves in all temps. Often, strip heat size is limited by
the amount of current availabe, especially in retrofit/replacement
installations. Many people are convinced their HP isn't doing
anything when it gets very cold outside because the air output doesn't
even feel warm. much less hot. Last night was the coldest it's been here
since I cobbled up two old Trane takeout HP units in my house in 2000.
With the HPs only, I had them set on 71-- at 24 deg outside, it still
held 71. At 7 AM, it was 17 outside and 67 inside. Even though the air
didn't even feel warm coming ou of the vents, it was keeping the house
50 warmer than outside. Admittedly, they ran non-stop, but they were
probably drawing less than 10 amps each. I was curious to what the exact
amperage was at 17 outside, but not nearly enough to go outside and find
out. My neighbor has a fairly similar sized place with a Rheem package
unit with 15KW electric heat that draws about 62 amps. We both got our
electric bills Friday, and hers was $200 more than mine -- roughly $480
vs $280 , and I have an electric water heater, where hers is propane.
You would think during the annual service they would pick up on something
like low temp differential, low airflow at an isolated duct, strips that
are out, breakers for strips tripped.
With the HP's I've been associated with, the attic was used for the air
handler being split system. For the heat strips, IIRC there was a breaker
for them at the panel as well as a breaker up in the attic near the
The others are correct-- that is what the "Emeer Heat" mode does. It
also switches the heat strips from second stageto first stage. Did you
try the Emer and the unit not work, or what? More details will get you
more info/advice. Larry
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.