my mind can't quite wrapped around the idea of a heat pump. our outside unit has frost on the inside and is covered in ice. I am told this could be because it is low on refrigerant. can somebody really dumb it down for me and explain how a heat pump works?
so helping to generate and retain some heat around the outside unit could increase efficiency? we are going to have the service guys back out (already here once for other puproses) to check it out with this new symptom. i just hate to be completely in the dark about things and I feel pretty stupid about heat pumps.
Leah Sattler wrote: ...and I feel pretty stupid about heat pumps.
D'ya know why you feel pretty stupid about heat pumps? Because they are pretty stupid! So sayeth dh, HVAC installer for 30+ years.
When it's 10 degrees and you'd really like a little supplemental heat...a heat pump won't get the job done. All it will do is create a drafty feeling by constantly blowing cool air thru the vent & into your room. AND it runs up your electric bill because the damn blower motor runs so much. Phooey!
so we are 'using' the heat pump on mild days. which is stupid and means it really doesn' get used. if its 50* out I don't care if the house is heated I'll just put on a sweater! when it gets cold we are using the gas heaters combined with the 'emergency heat' setting on the furnace, which just turns it to a regular electric furnace. so much for the days of 'set it and forget it' with the thermostat.
i don't know what posessed them to put a heat pump in. I suppose they had some justification in mind or someone...as you said....was a good salesman. the gas heaters are ok I am just not so sure about them running all the time even though they are up to spec from what info I can find. the fireplace is vented and has a blower and it is set up to run on a thermostat. I will feel better about using that for heat once it is fixed .
you're right. the whole thing seems poorly thought out. it would make so much more sense to use some system that captures some of the escaping heat to re-use. I wish we could have built our own. sigh. I like our house but some parts are just plain dumb.
Every time there's a winter power outage threat, I wish our set-up was different. Yeah, we have gas heat, but it depends on electricity to run. So basically...it won't work. At least we can light our stove top by hand if we need to, but not the oven. We just need to get back to a more normal winter pattern. This one has been over the top, to say the least...and it ain't over yet!
This is the kind of stuff I studied in getting my Home Energy Rating System (HERS) certification. The heat pump needs to be outside the building envelope. If the attic is part of the building envelope, then you certainly don't want it there.
In my zone (5, bordering on 6) most heat pumps are dual-system, combination gas heat and heat pump.