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Newbie here, I recently bought a home with a Rheem heat pump, Model RQKA A036JK, with heat strips installed. My question is, are the heat strips supposed to come on each cycle when the tstat calls for heat? I know that the heat pump looses capacity when the temps are below 40 deg. I have observed during the past winter, outside temps 0 to 20 deg. that the air coming from the ducts is quite cool at times. The tstat is a carrier, and it must have been installed about in 2003 and I have no info on it. seems that there is no programming to it. I can find no model # on it. Is this as good as it gets or do I need to call for service?

Thanks,

Jim

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Newbie here, I recently bought a home with a Rheem heat pump, Model RQKA A036JK, with heat strips installed. My question is, are the heat strips supposed to come on each cycle when the tstat calls for heat? I know that the heat pump looses capacity when the temps are below 40 deg. I have observed during the past winter, outside temps 0 to 20 deg. that the air coming from the ducts is quite cool at times. The tstat is a carrier, and it must have been installed about in 2003 and I have no info on it. seems that there is no programming to it. I can find no model # on it. Is this as good as it gets or do I need to call for service?

Thanks,

Jim

That isn't enough info for anyone to help you. Your best bet is to call a service tech and let him tell you if the system is operating correctly or not.

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I dunno,

It gave me enough info. If it's 20°F outside and I'm feeling cold air coming from the ducts, I'm going to be convinced that the emergency heat isn't coming on and I'm going to be calling a tech to get the hell out there and get me some heat, stat (Pun intended).

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I dunno,

It gave me enough info. If it's 20°F outside and I'm feeling cold air coming from the ducts, I'm going to be convinced that the emergency heat isn't coming on and I'm going to be calling a tech to get the hell out there and get me some heat, stat (Pun intended).

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Enough info for me too. If the emerg heat leaves the air supply too cool, it may be because the emerg heat commands only one element. It's not much heat, even for Arkansas.

The point is...if it keeps the house at approximately target temperature, it's ok, even if it runs non-stop. If the temperature drops more than 2 degrees below target temperature then you either have a problem or need more elements responding to emerg heat. If memory serves correctly, it's easy to add additional elements. Rheem/Ruud was my main brand for over 20 years.

Marc

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I dunno,

It gave me enough info. If it's 20°F outside and I'm feeling cold air coming from the ducts, I'm going to be convinced that the emergency heat isn't coming on and I'm going to be calling a tech to get the hell out there and get me some heat, stat (Pun intended).

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

That isn't exactly correct, my brother. Without a manual override, the heat pump may operate for as long as thirty minutes before it times out and realizes the interior temperature isn't rising. THAT'S when the auxiliary heat is energized. The system can be operating perfectly fine, despite cold air issuing from the ducts upon start-up.

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Newbie here, I recently bought a home with a Rheem heat pump, Model RQKA A036JK, with heat strips installed. My question is, are the heat strips supposed to come on each cycle when the tstat calls for heat?

Depends on outdoor temperature.

The tstat is a carrier, and it must have been installed about in 2003 and I have no info on it. seems that there is no programming to it. I can find no model # on it. Is this as good as it gets or do I need to call for service?

Thanks,

Jim

Does the t/stat have a switch labeled em.heat (or something similar)?

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With all due respect to my more northern brethren, the outdoor temperature may have absolutely nothing to do with whether the emergency heat comes on since most milder climate systems do not have outdoor thermostats.

In the most rudimentary controls, the interior thermostat is simple a two stage switch linked to indoor temperatures. Anytime the indoor temperature is more than a few degrees below the set point, the backup heat comes on.

Move the manual switch to "emergency heat" and it is supposed to shut off the outdoor unit.

Feeling cool air coming from the ducts has nothing to do with whether a heat pump is working correctly. Room air that rises from say 60 to 75 coming out of the ducts still feels cold and drafty to our 98.6 degree skin. Without some temperatures, your really flying blind.

But to answer the OP's question, No the strip heat should not come on every time the heat does. In fact, this would be quite contrary to the entire purpose of a heat pump. The only times strip heat should be on is when the heat needs of the house cannot be met by the heat pump alone and possibly during defrost.

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With all due respect to my more northern brethren, the outdoor temperature may have absolutely nothing to do with whether the emergency heat comes on since most milder climate systems do not have outdoor thermostats.

Well ya learn something new everyday - I wasn't aware of that. Thank's for the info.

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Jim said what I meant. But he expressed it much better.

Under normal circumstances, the heat pump energizes when the interior temperature is a degree or two lower than the thermostat-set temperature. If the system runs for a while without raising the interior temperature, the heating elements are energized one at a time in the interest of energy economy. So seemingly cool air isn't always a sign that the heat pump isn't operating as it should.

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Outdoor stats are cheap, wouldn't the system be even more efficient if it had a means to control the number of strips it energizes? Or do they run so little that it wouldn't justify complicating the controls?

Tom,

My heat pump has gas auxiliary, so I installed a thermostat--or what I called a manual override--on my condenser. If the temperature is hovering in the heat pump's I'm-just-not-sure range, the thermostat tells it to switch to natural gas.

On an electrical system, depending upon where you are, you don't want the manual override, since the elements energize one at a time to--allegedly--save the homeowner dough.

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