Pellet Stove recently installed / Heat pump not being used

LuvMyHarmanAccentra Posted By LuvMyHarmanAccentra, Feb 13, 2014 at 11:39 AM

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  1. LuvMyHarmanAccentra

    LuvMyHarmanAccentra
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    Feb 13, 2014
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    Maryland
    I've looked through most of the forums and haven't seen this addressed:

    I recently had a Harman Accentra Pellet Stove installed in my home. It's heats the whole house, so my heat pump hasn't kicked on since we've had the stove(YES!![Fist pump]). My question is, is there a possibilty that the lack of use could damage the heat pump due to cold/snow/ice? Should I have the heat pump "kick-on" a certain amount of time in the week? The heat pumps(one for upstairs/one for downstairs) are at least 12 years old. Thanks.
     
  2. TonyVideo

    TonyVideo
    Feeling the Heat 2.
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    Feb 20, 2014
    377
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    Loc:
    Rushville, IN
    I would put the Harman in stove temp mode. Drop the temp a degree or two then put your heat pump thermostat at the normal temp and let it cycle a few hours to maintain temp. However I do not believe it will be any problem leaving it off through the winter. It will get used if it also supplies AC in the summer.
     
  3. mikkeeh

    mikkeeh
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    Dec 7, 2011
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    Have you done the math? If the weather is warm enough to run my heat pump efficiently, the heat pump is cheaper to run than the pellet stove. Your numbers may vary.....but its something to think about.
     
  4. john193

    john193
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    Jan 11, 2010
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    I'd run the heat pump when it is above 50 out.
     
  5. DBCOOPER

    DBCOOPER
    Feeling the Heat 2.
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    Jan 23, 2010
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    Loc:
    Stowe, Pa
    Mine automatically comes on whenever the thermostat calls and it's above 33 degrees outside.
     
  6. hoverfly

    hoverfly
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    Jun 26, 2008
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    There should be no issue, just leave the power to it on. This keeps any kind of protection circuits active like a heater (if it has one) for the compressor oil.
     
  7. Arti

    Arti
    Feeling the Heat 2.
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    Feb 14, 2014
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    Loc:
    South West Wisconsin
    Everything is sealed and intended to be left outside in the elements.
    If you decide to turn it on in the extreme cold make sure the fan blades on the outside unit doesn't have any ice or snow on them. It will create an unbalanced fan and shake violently also the blades maybe frozen in place and won't be able to turn.

    It won't hurt it to just leave it sit until the weather moderates just leave the 220 breaker on that goes to the outside unit it has a heater to keep the compressor safe from freon migration. The heater is built into the compressor and not visible on most units.
    If you turn the power off to the unit outside it would be wise to turn the 220 breaker on and wait a couple of hours before starting up the heat pump. Most heat pumps will function fairly well down to about 35 degrees, with some of the newer ones working down to Zero.

    Meanwhile sit back and enjoy the pellet stove.
     
  8. wsar10

    wsar10
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    Feb 8, 2014
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    Central, PA
    Must be an older heat pump, Our mini-split system is cheaper to run than the pellet stove. The min-split will work down to 20 degrees or so, if it ices up it shuts down and goes through a 15min defrost cycle than back to heating .
     
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  9. meisen

    meisen
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    Feb 24, 2014
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    Hudson Valley, New York
    Can you tell me more about your mini split? I'm contemplating one as a supplement/backup to pellets and it seems like prices and experiences are all over the place. Does yours have supplemental heat below 20 degrees? Or what exactly happens when its 5 degrees out?
     
  10. wsar10

    wsar10
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    Feb 8, 2014
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    Mine is a Fujitsu AOU24RLX which is a 24,000BTU multi-zone outdoor unit. A 24,000 BTU min-split is equivalent to a normal heat pump twice that size. Our indoor units are wall mounted air handlers we have 1 upstairs and 1 down, centrally located and I use ceiling fans to do most of the circulating. They make all kinds of indoor units, you can use your existing forced air setup and plumb the outdoor unit to whatever coil fits your air handler, they have wall mounted units( like mine), ceiling cassettes, ceiling hung air handlers or they also make there own air handler similar to a traditional central sir(furnace) setup TONS of options. The indoor units are VERY quite and everything is remote controlled, the indoor units also run on DC (inverter within outdoor unit) it has timer options (on or off)you can even set specific temps for specific times. Its my understating that it has an electric backup, that being said we ran it 24hrs a day all winter last year even in February when it was 10* it still only cost us roughly $100 to run it a month and only used 150 gal of oil all year. We have ours maxed out and use it harder than we should, meaning the outdoor unit is 24k btu and we use two 12k btu indoor units. This was there best unti that year and I've heard there new units are even more efficient and work even better. I operated my own plumbing and heating business on the side up till last year so I got the unit at cost and paid a buddy to help that knew more about A/C than me, that being said I had under$3,000 in mine. I think they can be installed for around 4 or 5 depending on your options and application, cheaper if there smaller. We are going to add another one or else upgrade toi a bigger one yet some time in the near future because this does MOST of the work heating and cooling but this system is not really designed to do my whole house evenly although i run the chit out of and try !! It has been VERY impressive and has done WAY more than I thought it would. FUJITSU.JPG INDOOR.JPG
    I just talked A guy on our engineering team at work into one for a "4 season" room we did his for under $2 grand ourselves (with another friend coming with his vacuum pump and gauges to do the nitrogen and make sure it held pressure) he went with a SANYO because the FUJITSU he needed was back ordered, he seems satisfied its a 6k btu and created an additional 450sq ft of living space and probably increased the value of his home by $10 grand or so !

    When its 5 degrees out here my heat pump just does not cut it for very long most of the time. If it VERY humid or precipitating it will freeze up than go into thaw mode than run again (this is all FULLY automatic). Its hard to give a black or white answer to that question. Even the manufacture only rates them toIIRC 20* but mine has always worked well lower than that. You will need to run the pellet stove when it starts lurking into 15. Like I said I run mine hard !!
     
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  11. wsar10

    wsar10
    Burning Hunk 2.
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    Feb 8, 2014
    227
    43
    Loc:
    Central, PA
    FWIW, 4 years ago I ended up with roughly a $300 (federal) tax CREDIT that year, (would have been more under the Bush administration ) I also got a $700 credit from Penn-Elec for making my home less dependent on electricity.
    My buddy at work got $100 credit from Penn-Elec and $120 tax credit.

    If you are "considering" I would definitely do it ! You wont regret it , thats for sure it will heat or cool, or de-humidify or just use as a fan to circulate air and increase the value of your home.
     
  12. meisen

    meisen
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    Feb 24, 2014
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    Loc:
    Hudson Valley, New York
    Appreciate that detail wsar10! Very good to know though the one piece that's still a puzzle for me is the cold thing. I'd love a mini split as something I could use when we are out of town or renting the house (in lieu of trying to explain the operation of the pellet stove to renters or housesitter)...but if for some reason we had a really cold snap it sounds like it might be trouble in either situation. I do love the idea of ditching the window ac units however.
     
  13. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw
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    Mar 9, 2009
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    If your units are 12 years old, they are probably not all that great as far as efficiency goes. One of mine is that old and I don't run it except a couple of times a month if we are upstairs. My rule of thumb based on my whole house electrical monitoring system is to shut off the pellet stoves and run the heat pump downstairs (15 SEER AC) when the temp hits 38 F. Below that, it's a toss up especially if the strips come on. Then I'm using $1+ an hour in electricity so pellet stoves are a no brainer. Get a quick read thermometer and stick it into your registers and see what the air temp is coming out. It may FEEL cold but you'll see it's a lot warmer than you thought. My forced air temp is usually 50 to 60 degrees warmer than the outside temp.
     
  14. chken

    chken
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    Dec 7, 2013
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    Great info, I have been looking into an LG mini-split for a while on PexSupply.com. You can get a 34k cool/ 40k heat 4 head unit for $4k.
     
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