When I lived in Florida I had 2 different heat pumps----a Trane and
later a Carrier. I was very comforable in both houses during the
heating season as well as the summer. When my husband passed away I
moved to South Carolina to be a bit closer to my family. The house I
bought here has a heat pump but the house is quite uncomforable during
the heating season. When the unit comes on it blows cold air (it feels
like the air conditioner is on) As it runs the air gradually improves
but it never blows warm air. it goes from cold to perhaps cool then
eventually shuts off.
I have had several repair men here and they say that it is working ok.
Is this how some heat pumps work? I have the thermostat set at 76
degrees and still the house is uncomfortable. My electric bill is quite
high but I dont want to get sick. so I have to pay it. Should I have
this unit removed (its 3 years old) and replace it with another brand or
will I be wasting more money? Any suggestions please. Anne
It could be too much air flow. You will not get a proper temperature
rise across the indoor coil that way.
It could have too much return duct leakage, That would give you high
electric bills and low supply air tewmperatures. I
t could be under insulated ducts.
It could be oversized. It would not run long enough for system to
satbilize at proper operating conditions.
You may have a house with high infiltration rates or poor insulation.
It would be difficult for the heat pump to overcome that.
What City do you live in or near? You may be able to get some advice
from your power company.
Apparently you've had several incompetent repairmen. Some possibilities
are, in no specific order: Excessive indoor airflow, refrigerant
restriction, insufficient airflow over the condenser (outdoor) coil for
any number of reasons, undercharged, overcharged, worn or damaged
compressor, reversing valve bypassing, air in refrigerant system, wrong
refrigerant in system, compressor stalling, undersized compressor,
evaporator blowby, return air leakage, expansion device overfeeding.
Ask the next guy to explain the following, and their relevance to the
problem, to you: subcooling, superheat, temperature difference across
the reversing valve, indoor cfm per ton, high side and low side
pressures. All of these measured after 10 minutes of runtime, except
cfm because it won't change. If he can't explain to you what all of
these are, then send him away. If he can't explain why each of these are
important pieces of information in regards to resolving the problem,
then send him away. If he can explain all of these measurements and
their relevance, then he might be the one to find the real problem for you.
The natural response to being greeted by a customer who has technical
questions such as those, is to feel immediately as though you have a
customer on your hands who isn't going to be happy no matter what.
Because of this I suggest you explain first where you got the
information and questions and that you were only following the
suggestions offered. This will defuse him and inspire him to show me
up. That could be good for you, he'll go the extra mile. If he starts
off, however, with excuses, such as "You're liable to hear anything on
the net", or "that guy was full of it", then that'll be your clue that
he doesn't know the answers and he's a hack. HTH, and good luck. Please
keep us updated.
BTW, keep in mind that the list I provided isn't exhaustive, there are
many other possible problems besides those listed. I only listed them
to let you know that there are so many possibilities that if your
repairmen didn't do some extensive checking before they left, then they
1) Thought you wouldn't know that they were blowing smoke
2) Were too lazy to check into the problem sufficiently
3) Didn't have a clue what they were doing.
If you have it set for 76 deg and it is cutting off and on it may be working
ok. Place a thermometer where the air comes out. It should be around 85
deg or beter depending on how cold it is. It will not feel warm . If it is
less than 80 deg you do have a problem.
Maybe moving from a normally warmer part of the country has your body
fooled. While it is not all that warm many people only run the heat around
68 to 72 deg in the winter. If you are used to being in an area that is
much warmer in the winter and move to a colder part of the country, you may
never get warm in the winter.
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