Is my heat pump running too long?

Old 02-09-06, 07:27 AM
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Is my heat pump running too long?

I am a new heat pump owner. I live in the south. I realize that heat pumps are not as "hot" as my old gas furnace I replaced, but still I believe that sometimes my heat pump simply blows ambient temperature air and blows too long. Here is what happens. Sometimes I get the impression that the heat pump runs constantly all night. I will get up, say at 6:45, and the temperature reading is 68 (which is where the thermostat is set) but the heat pump is blowing what generally feels like ambient air temperature. I will bump the thermostat up 1 degree to 69, the heat pump will then begin blowing warmer air (about 90 degrees like it is supposed to) and the house temperature will raise 1 degree in about 15 - 20 minutes (I have thermometers in a couple places in the house to confirm this). However, when I leave for work over an hour later (about 7:50 am) the heat pump has yet to shut off even though its been at the set point for almost a hour. Is this normal? Sometimes it runs for hours like this on the weekends when I am home to monitor it. I have a Heil 2-stage heat pump, and a programmable thermostat (which I haven't taken the time to program yet). This seems to be a problem mainly when its under 40 degrees outside, but often it is not below 30 degrees so its not that cold. I have had the installers out a couple of times but they can't find anything wrong and insist its working normally. Most of the time it does work fine (during the day when its 40 - 55 it hardly runs). The copper coil running from the outside unit is hot. It just doesn't seem to sit right with me. Any one else have similar problems or suggestions?

THANKS! I am not a super handy man, but I am not totally un-handy either.
Old 02-09-06, 07:48 AM
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when my heat pump reaches its set temp the compressor shuts off but the air handler runs for a few minutes before it shuts off...

that sounds like what yours is doing...
make sure your thermostat fan switch is set to auto and not on..

by the way how much was your system and who installed it..
Old 02-09-06, 08:20 AM
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I'm not familiar with the charactoristics of a 2 stage heat pump, nor do I have experience with newer systems, but what you describe is quite charactoristic of the older heat pump systems I've owned. The "warmer" air comming out when you bump the thermostat up in the morning is either the second stage of the heat pump or the strip heaters. The rest of the time, it's running in first stage without the strips. If it's maintaining the set temp, it's probably working as designed. There may be some settings that would force the system to go to second stage more often and run a little less. I would pose this question to the company that installed it.

Doug M.
Old 02-09-06, 09:20 AM
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Let's stick to the facts.

1.Get pen and paper and record the following at various times during the day. I suggest early morning, mid day, early evening, and before you go to bed. Do this over several days so this can provide a little history.

Time, thermostat setting,outside temp, run time, and supply temp taken at several diff vents(you can get an inexpensive digital thermometer). Also note if your stat indicates whether aux heat is engaged.

I do not subscribe to the idea that heat pumps are supposed to run continuously, especially if you have a good ductwork system that is insulated properly and system was sized correctly for your climate including make-up aux heat strips required on your colder days. Most of today's new heat pumps provide supply temp in the low to mid 90s in normal operating mode, even higher with aux heat. Of course supply temp will go down as outside temp drops.

Was your thermostat replaced? If so, what kind do you have? Outside unit should shut off in a minute or so after maintaining your thermostat setpoint and perhaps your air handler( in auto mode) may continue for another minute or two and also shut off.

If you bump your thermostat up by one degree, does aux heat come on? On most new systems, it should not. Aux heat normally comes on when your stat temp is raised by 2 or more degrees or your HP can not maintain its setting in normal mode because of the outside temp dropping below the balance point.

Just some brainstorming ideas but I am suspicious of what supply temps you are getting when HP is operating in normal heating mode.

My Opinion.
Old 02-09-06, 09:25 AM
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Can do. Will try to collect data over weekend and post first of week.
Old 02-09-06, 04:26 PM
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new heat pump owner


i just wanted to point out to make sure that there is no confusion,
the heatpump is the outside unit you describe, the indoor unit
is a airhandler/furnace. just thought you may to amke note
of this. and i agree with thermo, one way or the other the system
should shutdown once temp is satisfied. and the supply temp. thermo
was referring to is the temp of what is going into the return at the air handler.
just some thoughts,

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