New York Aux heat coming on

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Colton Weber, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. Colton Weber

    Colton Weber Member

    Recently bought my first house. Has an older waterfurnace versatec 3 ton unit. Open loop system. The Ac worked great except for the leak or extreme condensation that resulted in water all over my basement floor. Tech couldnt find a leak anywhere.

    But as far as the heat. I am not sure what's up. The house is warm. But my electric bill went from $115/mnth with ac on to almost $300/mnth with heat on. I disabled aux heat and house dropped to 56deg.
    I have temp set at 70. The aux heat comes on a few times a day. Yesterday outside temp 30deg. Inside temp was 70. Set at 70. And system is running with aux heat on.

    Is it this stupid honeywell thermostat? Or what else could it be?
     

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    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
  2. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Tough to say. The guy who came out, did he measure the heat extraction to ensure if the heat pump is operating according to specifications?
     
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  3. Colton Weber

    Colton Weber Member

    He was here when ac was on. Did not know I had an issue with the heat system at that point. I guess I will need to have them out again.
     
  4. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    What about chris from Aztech? Did he measure heat extraction? Or rejection?
     
    Colton Weber likes this.
  5. Colton Weber

    Colton Weber Member

    He never came out. Estimate from pictures and model info on old unit.

    Choice heating and cooling came out late summer to look at ac.
     
  6. Colton Weber

    Colton Weber Member

    I'm flipping out. 45deg outside aux heat on. Wtf!!!
     

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  7. nc73

    nc73 Member Forum Leader

    Obviously if there's that much water, something is up. My pipes doesn't have condensation issues like that, at least in winter. It's pretty much dry. What if you disabled aux?
     
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  8. Colton Weber

    Colton Weber Member

    I went into thermostat settings. Changed it to 1 heat instead of 2 heat. Essentially disabling backup heat I think. And house dropped to 56deg over night.
     
  9. nc73

    nc73 Member Forum Leader

    I'm thinking there's air in loops, due to water leaking out. Find the leak!
     
    Colton Weber likes this.
  10. Colton Weber

    Colton Weber Member

    No water leaking when heat is on. Only when running ac!
     
  11. nc73

    nc73 Member Forum Leader

    I guess you're SOL. No one will be working today unless it's an emergency. You have heat, just not the cheap kind :) I always tell people if you don't tinker, don't get geo. In your case don't buy a house with Geo. Too late. Regular heat pumps work just as well.
     
  12. Colton Weber

    Colton Weber Member

    So then why are people spending all this money on geo?? And I do like to tinker. Just need to learn what the cause may be.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
  13. IsItForMe

    IsItForMe New Member

    Colton,

    My system will not be installed until the spring, but the extensive research that I performed here and elsewhere does not support the notion that “if you don’t tinker, don’t get geo”.

    I encourage you to continue to engage with industry professionals to assess and resolve your system’s issues.
     
    Colton Weber likes this.
  14. Colton Weber

    Colton Weber Member

    I have sent emails to a few geothermal contractors. I want to get a couple quotes and still plan to go forward.
     
  15. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Fluids coming from the unit in A/C mode only is condensate unless proven otherwise, potentially a condensate pan overflowing.
    So he gave you an estimate without looking at the job....??? Hm.....

    We have standardized prices as well, but we still look at the job before shaking hands, to ensure there are no surprises for us (and the homeowner).
     
    Colton Weber likes this.
  16. docjenser

    docjenser Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Maybe you should not draw conclusions from your own experience/approach to geo. You have been cheap, condemning people who have been spending the necessary money to get high quality/high performance systems, and your advise to people often lacked knowledge of geo system fundamentals....:eek:
     
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  17. IsItForMe

    IsItForMe New Member

    I think you are on the right path!
     
    Colton Weber likes this.
  18. Eric Kurtz

    Eric Kurtz Member

    An experienced refrigeration tech should be able to figure out why it is not working at capacity. Old does not necessarily mean bad. I would definitely get several opinions if replacement is what is recommended. It may be a relatively inexpensive fix (compared to new). Let us know what you are told, and we can smell check it. ☺ But finally boots on site is the guy that should know.
     
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  19. Jmac55

    Jmac55 Member

    I had a similar problem several years ago that my installation company couldn't solve. The output at the nearest point to the heat pump was only 87.f and the furnace was on stage 2 all the time and would then turn on auxiliary electric heat. My heating bill was through the roof.

    After doing some research I (finally) understood that heat/AC are closed systems...ie: The warm air is circulated into the house and the return re-circulates the already warmer air, so when the system is running for a while the heat pump is reheating already warmed air. So heat is building upon already heated air.

    After the system runs for a while heating and re-heating air, the return air should be within 10-15 degrees of the output. If it's not then there is a possibility that either the house is very, very badly insulated...or there is cold air entering the return somewhere.

    I took temperature at the output duct (I drilled a small hole and inserted a thermometer) and then I took temperature at return duct (drilling a small hole) just before re-entering the system, and there was over 20.f difference!

    The only obvious place for cold air to enter was in the unheated freezing cold basement where my geo unit is installed (I had closed all the ducts in the summer), so I opened the ducts to heat the basement to see if it made a difference. After 30 minutes the output from the system went up 7 degrees which indicated I had a hole somewhere in the return almost certainly in the basement.

    Sure enough, I followed the return and found a large 6x6 opening in an awkward place, hidden behind some joists which had never been closed up for some reason when the original ductwork was built for an oil furnace. My geothermal unit was working overtime constantly trying to heat freezing cold air being sucked into the return.

    I sealed the hole with drywall and within 15 minutes the temps went up another 10.f so now I get about 100-105.f output from the system and stage 2 rarely engages and I don't hardly ever use aux heat at all. (I turned it off at the breaker!)

    I have to add...that I have since added more and more insulation around the house by replacing old windows and in the attic etc and this also helped to keep the heat in the house.

    Hope your problem is as simple as mine was. Good luck.
     
    Colton Weber likes this.
  20. Colton Weber

    Colton Weber Member

    For some reason my system had a fire damper right over the main output of the unit. I opened it up and found the link holding it in place had broken and the fire damper was blocking 3/4 of my air duct! I tied it back with a piece of wire yesterday so we will see what happens. Have not seen aux heat since but it was almost 40deg yesterday. Friday will be around 15deg so that will be the true test.
     

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