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Author Topic: Heat pump performance in cold weather.  (Read 22889 times)

Offline def

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Heat pump performance in cold weather.
« on: February 13, 2013, 05:03:17 PM »

My heat pump doesn't provide much heat as the outdoor temperature approaches 30 F. Is there a better gas for a heat pump that will improve the performance of heat pumps in lower temperatures?

 :thanks:

 :popcorn:
I used to repair MK56 GFCS RADAR...now, I'm a farmer.

Offline domain

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Re: Heat pump performance in cold weather.
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2013, 05:06:10 PM »
Like different refrigerant be put in to your heatpump for better performance? LOL no. Your compressor and overall unit are dedicated to the refrigerant designed for it. Proper charge would help. :D

Offline def

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Re: Heat pump performance in cold weather.
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2013, 08:43:33 PM »
OK, so a custom gas mix is out of the question.

I have a new 40# cylinder of R22 sitting in the garage. So, now all I need is some gauges to monitor pressure (vacuum) and fill the system to specification or to some level to optimize the cycle.

Is this something I should tackle myself? I understand the basics of refrigeration but have little experience other than filling the car with R134a from time to time.

Are there any how to videos anywhere that deal with this? Will I need to wait for hot weather to load the system correctly?

I understand that I could damage the system if I over fill or under fill it. Also, I plan to clean the evaporator coil and blow out the condensate drain line once I get into the air handler. Also, I am going to install a UV lamp in the air handler just before the evap coil to keep mold and mildew at bay.

So, give me your thoughts about these undertakings;

1- Go ahead. It sounds like your capable.

2- Your nuts. You have no idea what you're getting in to.

3- Call an ambulance before you begin work and have the EMTs standing by.

4- Stick to fixing your BMW motorcycle.

5- Call us once you recover from the explosions and electrical shocks.

6- Its easy. You'll do fine.

Please select one of the numbers for your response.

 :thanks:

 :popcorn:
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 08:45:18 PM by def »
I used to repair MK56 GFCS RADAR...now, I'm a farmer.

Offline lesguns

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Re: Heat pump performance in cold weather.
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2013, 09:49:34 PM »
you need more auxillary heat.

Offline Patricio

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Re: Heat pump performance in cold weather.
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2013, 10:56:04 PM »
Auxillary heat is the ticket for a heat pump in a mild climate.
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Offline def

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Re: Heat pump performance in cold weather.
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2013, 11:39:03 PM »
Yes, I have electric heat strips...

So, I guess I'm just going to have to live with it..........wait, unless I go ground source
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Offline jumptrout51

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Re: Heat pump performance in cold weather.
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2013, 06:29:37 AM »
What is the BTU of this H/P?
What size heat strips in KW?
Are they (heat strips) working?
What square footage is the house?
What brand and age of equipment?
The answer to your quest is above is 2 thru 5.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 06:30:30 AM by jumptrout51 »
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Offline def

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Re: Heat pump performance in cold weather.
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2013, 09:16:26 AM »
What is the BTU of this H/P? 3000BTU
What size heat strips in KW? Don't know but they do provide heat at low ambient temps (<15 deg. F)
Are they (heat strips) working? Yes.
What square footage is the house? 1550
What brand and age of equipment? Brand unknown but it was new with the house 5 years ago.
The answer to your quest is above is 2 thru 5. Hmm......not very encouraging.

 :-\  but  :thanks: anyway.
I used to repair MK56 GFCS RADAR...now, I'm a farmer.

Offline JWWebster

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Re: Heat pump performance in cold weather.
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2013, 09:50:53 AM »
3000 btu would not even heat one room. You need 5000 btu per bedroom (basic rule of thumb)
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Offline def

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Re: Heat pump performance in cold weather.
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2013, 10:13:58 AM »
3000 btu would not even heat one room. You need 5000 btu per bedroom (basic rule of thumb)

Mr. Webster, I made an error  :oops: (a rare ocurance). My H/P is 3 tons. You're correct, 3000 BTUs is....well, I can rub my hands together and get 3000BTUs.  ::)

Sorry
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Offline jumptrout51

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Re: Heat pump performance in cold weather.
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2013, 02:55:37 PM »
To check your refrigerant charge on a R22 hp you would use the sucking port using your blue gauge.
Not the suction port on the primary service valve.
With the unit set for heat and running,the suction pressure would be equivalent to the outside ambient temperature plus or minus 3 degrees. EXAMPLE; 40 degree pressure outside temp would be 37-43 degrees.
That would be a good charge.
If variable is lower,add refrigerant.
Is this a orifice delivery system or a thermostat expansion valve?
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Offline jimbo6679

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Re: Heat pump performance in cold weather.
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2013, 08:35:25 PM »
Most older heat pumps would cease operating when ambient was down to 30.    New units have a wider operating range.

First, do you have your EPA card to touch R22?   They take a VERY dim view if you do not.  Do you have a recovery machine?      Don't take offense if you are up to speed....  I just throw this out for everyones info.
Now,  this is not shade tree mechanics, where you just shove a little R134 into your car and come back next summer.    "fiddling" with a heat pump will get you into uncharted trouble.   You need to have proper equipment, and based on the data plate and install manual for your unit, determine what the proper subcooling should be based on house temp and outdoor ambient.    Adjust charge IF NECESSARY.

Offline lesguns

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Re: Heat pump performance in cold weather.
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2013, 11:05:21 PM »
ground source is the best for heat pumps but real expensive. try 1500w infared heaters for xtra aux. just a thought.

Offline def

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Re: Heat pump performance in cold weather.
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2013, 09:08:42 AM »
Most older heat pumps would cease operating when ambient was down to 30.    New units have a wider operating range.

First, do you have your EPA card to touch R22?  No EPA thing but, I do have a valid passport They take a VERY dim view if you do not.  Do you have a recovery machine? No, but I do have one of those stair stepper machines that I exercise on every morning,      Don't take offense if you are up to speed....  I just throw this out for everyones info.
Now,  this is not shade tree mechanics, where you just shove a little R134 into your car and come back next summer. I usually just let system pressure suck the refrigerant into the low pressure port...I don't have to shove it.     "fiddling" with a heat pump will get you into uncharted trouble. You need to have proper equipment, and based on the data plate and install manual for your unit, determine what the proper subcooling should be based on house temp and outdoor ambient.    Adjust charge IF NECESSARY.

You mention fiddling...I don't play violin but do play accordion...does that help?  :tiphat:

Of course, I'm being facetious (silly) here.  :rofl:  After a bit of consideration, I think I'll leave the heat pump alone.

But, I will clean the coil and install the UV lamp. I need to find switched 120VAC in the air handler and tap into that for the UV power when the blower is running. Any thoughts?  :thankyou:

 :popcorn:
I used to repair MK56 GFCS RADAR...now, I'm a farmer.

Offline def

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Re: Heat pump performance in cold weather.
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2013, 09:21:44 AM »
ground source is the best for heat pumps but real expensive. try 1500w infared heaters for xtra aux. just a thought.

I have been contemplating a ground source system should I ever build another house. I am now thinking about another house and a heated swimming pool, as well. Ground source would be good for heating the pool, as well.  ::)

Now, I have to find a way to balance the load between the pool, two houses, domestic hot water demands and the phases of the moon.  8)

I don't know if I can balance a variable load with the equipment that is currently available. I may have to design something myself and fabricate some purpose built valves to distribute coolant...more work to be done. I have plenty of real estate for the ground source heat exchange plumbing but have determined that moon phases need not be considered.   :)

And yes, your suggestion of some auxiliary infrared heaters is appropriate and appreciated.   :thanks:

I used to repair MK56 GFCS RADAR...now, I'm a farmer.

Offline JWWebster

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Re: Heat pump performance in cold weather.
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2013, 11:58:00 AM »
I know a guy who added another wall 1 foot from his existing wall on the south facing side of the house. He installed a thermostatically controlled solar driven fan to pump the hot air inside the false wall to inside the house. Cut his power bill down to nothing in winter.
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Offline def

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Re: Heat pump performance in cold weather.
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2013, 12:09:48 PM »
I know a guy who added another wall 1 foot from his existing wall on the south facing side of the house. He installed a thermostatically controlled solar driven fan to pump the hot air inside the false wall to inside the house. Cut his power bill down to nothing in winter.

Mr. Webster, This sounds like an excellent idea. Does this fellow have any details? Materials, dimensions, etc.? Where is he located geographically? More details please...

 :thanks:

 :popcorn:
I used to repair MK56 GFCS RADAR...now, I'm a farmer.

Offline JWWebster

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Re: Heat pump performance in cold weather.
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2013, 04:59:14 PM »
He lives on Fowl river near Belengrath gardens. We have mild winters here. I think the house was featured in a newspaper article but I cannot find it. You ever hear of a beer can heater?
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About the icons: The beer is tip link, if a tech saves ya some money buy em a 6 pack. The small green square=personal message. The green dot is a link to my web page on appliance repair

Offline def

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Re: Heat pump performance in cold weather.
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2013, 05:20:03 PM »
He lives on Fowl river near Belengrath gardens. We have mild winters here. I think the house was featured in a newspaper article but I cannot find it. You ever hear of a beer can heater?

Are we talking about Fowl River near Bayou La Batre? Heck, I'll just ride the BMW down there and visits with him. Does he carry a gun? Is he...ya know....right? Is there any danger?
I used to repair MK56 GFCS RADAR...now, I'm a farmer.

Offline def

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Re: Heat pump performance in cold weather.
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2014, 10:57:06 PM »
If anyone is interested,  I have a new 40 lb tank of R22. Let me knkw if you would like to trade for it.

Otherwise! I'll just put in the trash.
I used to repair MK56 GFCS RADAR...now, I'm a farmer.