Heat Pump | Split System Heat Pump Is Acting Strangely?
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Heat Pump | Split System Heat Pump Is Acting Strangely?

We have a split system heat pump with the backup heaters in the basement and the heat pump outside of the house. Tonight when I got home from work, it was blowing cool air. But it’s probably in the 40’s outside. The thermostat is set properly and no setting is incorrect on it (no fan turned to the on position, etc.).Then we turned it off and let it stay off for maybe 5-10 minutes. I had the idea that maybe it would reset itself somehow. When we turned it back on, the air was very warm and obviously the heat was working. I can hear the machine in the basement (backup heaters and blower) working just fine. I confirmed that the heat pump turns on and the air is very warm when it does come on. But at other times for sometimes 10+ minutes at a time, it blows very cold air into the house and kind of defeats the purpose.Any ideas? I know it’s not the coolant. That was checked recently and the compressor has a very good charge. We also recently replaced the capacitor a while back. It’s putting out heat, so it doesn’t appear to be any type of heating component. The only problem is that the heat pump isn’t coming on part of the time and therefore the air is very cool for like half of the time. It blows the cold air, then the heat pump turns off outside. I hear the backup heaters in the basement turn on and warm up, then the air usually gets warmer…then the heat pump turns on again later. This cold-warm-cold warm repeating cycle is kind of irritating.


Heat pumps by nature will not blow hot air but more luke warm air. When the heat pump goes into defrost mode (it turns the fan on the outside unit and actually turns on the AC) then in the same manner the electric heat strips are suppose to kick in to supplement the heat while in defrost mode. If your temperatures are erratic cold, warm I suspect you have a bad heat sequencer that is sticking. Also, if your thermostat is mechanical I would advise you to replace it and upgrade it to a digital. It will do a far better job and reduce costs. Im not really following what these back up heaters are in the basement. As there is NO way you would hear the electric heat kick on. Im wondering here if you have a dual fuel system here. Meaning heatpump and a gas furnace

When the cold air blows for ten minutes, the system is in defrost mode and the heat strips are supposed to come on. The signal for that goes through a relay, so it is sticking open and needs to be replaced. The relay may be positioned on the circuit board so that would have to be tested, maybe replaced.

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