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roseb

02:18PM | 12/27/01
Member Since: 12/26/01
10 lifetime posts
Bvhvac
This may sound strange, but we bought an old house, and don't really understand the heating system we have (no users manuals left behind). This came about when we tried to install a programmable thermostat, and found too many wires/different letters for the standard unit. We then took a closer look.
Aparrently this was all installed 10 years ago.
The furnace is a gas - simple enough. Beside it is a heat/air exchanger (I think that's what it's called - it brings in fresh air from the outside and exhausts air from the inside warming the air slightly from the outside). This unit can be switched on and off by itself and has it's own fan. In front of this is what is labelled a heat pump (there are pipes running to the air conditioning unit sitting outside, but no other pipes running into the ground). We're guessing that the condenser to the Air Conditioner is the unit outside.
My question is - what does all this do (Individually I have a good idea - but all together????)
The original thermostat also has an extra setting labelled EM Heat (what in the buns is that?)
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks

rpxlpx

03:53AM | 01/02/02
Member Since: 03/13/00
1675 lifetime posts
Yes, the outside unit is the heat pump. They take heat out of the inside air in summer and move it outside, and they run in reverse in winter, taking heat from the outside air and moving it inside. Even when it's cold outside, they can get some heat from the outside air to "move" inside.
The problem is that as it gets colder and colder, they become less and less efficient and have to work really hard to get heat from the cold air.
For that reason, there's a backup method that will kick in when the heat pump can't keep up with its heating requirements. Usually, but not always, this is an electric heat strip. Sounds like you've got a slightly more sophisticated setup.
Heat pumps are most efficient to use in certain climates. For more info about available types of thermostats, search on "heat pump thermostat".

[This message has been edited by rpxlpx (edited January 02, 2002).]

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