FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of auxiliary heat?
Under normal operating conditions, the auxiliary heat is brought on automatically by the thermostat when the indoor temperature drops during heat pump operation. There are also times during cold, wet weather when the outdoor coil may ice up and your heat pump will go into a defrost cycle. This is nothing more than reversing the process back to cooling mode. Cooling mode makes the outdoor coil hot and melts any ice. The defrost cycle should only last a few minutes and then return to heating mode. During the defrost cycle, your comfort system is in cooling mode and the supply air is cool. To offset this cool air, the auxiliary heat will be energized during defrost. A mist or fog may be visible from the outdoor unit during defrost.
Why does the air coming from the registers feel cool when my heat pump is set for heating?
While a heat pump is perfectly capable of effectively heating your home, the temperature of the air coming out of the registers confuses some people. The air is heated to about 90 to 95 degrees, depending on the outdoor temperature. This temperature is approximately 20- 25 degrees warmer that the indoor air temperature and will warm your house. It is, however, below body temperature (98.6 degrees) and can feel cool when someone puts their hand in the airflow.
I have a heat pump and I got over $400.00 on my electric bill. What has happened?
The heat pump is not working. The electric strip heat in the furnace is keeping the house comfortable. This heat costs 3 times more than heat pump heat. Many people do not realize in the winter that their heat pump is broken because the strip heat continues to keep the house comfortable. If you notice a little light on your thermostat is on, very often you had better check to make sure your outdoor unit is working.
Why is my outdoor unit smoking and making a funny noise during the winter?
This is normally just the defrost cycle for the heat pump to melt ice that forms on it. The process only takes a few minutes which means it goes into air conditioning mode to run the hot gas outside and melt the ice off of the unit. While it is in defrost mode it turns on the electric strip heat in the furnace to keep from blasting you with cold air.
Should my furnace have an oil smell?
No, a fuel odor is an indication that something is wrong and should be checked by a service technician.