39 votes

How can I protect a frozen heat pump in cold weather while waiting for service?

Running AUX heat continuously is fine. It's just expensive, compared to your heat pump. You likely have one of these problems: Low refrigerant: You should not be losing refrigerant. The refrigerant ...
longneck's user avatar
  • 21.2k
33 votes
Accepted

Is it possible for a gas fired boiler to consume more energy when heating intermitently versus having heating at all times?

Your dad is likely right (as usual? :-)). With modern equipment, slow but steady wins the race. I assume we're talking about a modern high efficiency condensing gas boiler. If that's not the case and ...
TooTea's user avatar
  • 2,323
28 votes

Is Electric Central Heating worth it if using Solar Panels?

Passive solar design before you build On a new build, your very first stop is passive solar design. Strutting forward and designing a bad old stickhouse, and then bolting on solar as an afterthought,...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
21 votes

Why does bleeding radiators save energy?

For maximum efficiency, many modern heating systems (condensing gas boilers, heat pumps) are designed to output heat at a low water flow temperature. The unit can generate heat more efficiently at (...
user1908704's user avatar
  • 1,257
20 votes
Accepted

Does my furnace suck air from outside?

I think some of the answers here are confusing because they don't really address that your furnace has two different air intake/outlets. One is for the combustion system. Air is pulled in from ...
le3th4x0rbot's user avatar
18 votes

Is Electric Central Heating worth it if using Solar Panels?

Assuming that you are (a) on the regular electric utility grid and (b) are on the regular natural gas delivery system (i.e., don't require propane deliveries), as a general rule, natural gas heating ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
16 votes

Does my furnace suck air from outside?

The answer is that it should have a fresh air source! This is an absolute for gas furnaces. Some systems use the “leaks throughout the house” to get the air. The filter in the furnace is for dust to ...
Ed Beal's user avatar
  • 103k
16 votes

Why does bleeding radiators save energy?

If you get less heat because of air in the radiators, the losses in the system can add up to a greater %. Depending on where the pipes run, some heat might be lost in useless places. This is worse if ...
Olivier's user avatar
  • 1,220
14 votes

Why does my furnace only work after power reset?

Your furnace controller board is very likely indicating a trouble situation and shutting itself down. This is the equivalent of a car turning on its check engine light and not wanting to move. ...
RoboKaren's user avatar
  • 754
12 votes

Is Electric Central Heating worth it if using Solar Panels?

If you design the solar thermal correctly, then given the annual solar insolation ( higher than my location in EU by about a factor of 2) then with good insulation you can avoid heating at all. But ...
Solar Mike's user avatar
  • 27.4k
10 votes

Should I add air ducts when finishing my basement or rely on space heaters?

Summary... 100% add the duct work. It will be cheaper in long run, look better, and will increase resale value of the home. Few things here: Once you add those walls/ceilings (given it is not a ...
DMoore's user avatar
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9 votes
Accepted

Does using central heating increase water usage?

Only if you have a humidifier installed, and in that case it would be a very small quantity. To determine whether your system has a humidifier, examine the primary ducts near the furnace unit. Look ...
isherwood's user avatar
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9 votes
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Can I just cut power to a central air and heating system, or should I follow a shutdown procedure?

Very few HVAC systems aren't able to handle abrupt power loss. I've flipped the switches on dozens of systems hundreds of times to change filters and perform other service. The gas valve will close ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 135k
8 votes

Does my furnace suck air from outside?

Your furnace probably exhausts more air than it intakes, creating negative pressure in the house which will draw air in. You can try to control is by "encouraging" the makeup air to come in ...
Steven's user avatar
  • 522
8 votes

Why does the blower on my furnace run after the burner turns off?

The furnace control board will run the blower for a period of time after the heating cycle ends in order to cool the exchanger and push the latent heat into the space. The time it runs is usually ...
Chris O's user avatar
  • 6,775
8 votes

Can I use a floor register/diffuser in a toe-kick?

I have done so on several occasions in cabinetry I've put in my house, and I've seen such in my old cabinet-maker job's customers' houses. As long as the register fits in the toekick, it's good. Go ...
Triplefault's user avatar
  • 7,280
8 votes

Is there a way to run my furnace fan intermittently without heating the house more?

I don't think most (any?) of the "dumb" programmable thermostats allow what you want, but I know (because I have one) that the ecobee3 has a setting where you can ask it to run the fan X ...
Huesmann's user avatar
  • 3,090
7 votes
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Should I add air ducts when finishing my basement or rely on space heaters?

TL;DR Space heating doesn't make sense in a typical US house that already has duct work in place. There are, broadly speaking, 3 types of home heating in general use in the US: Fossil fuels - Natural ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
7 votes

Why does bleeding radiators save energy?

A radiator works best if the water inside it slows down and lingers to emit the heat into the room. Flow speed depends on the cross section of the pipe and the volume per time being pushed through, a ...
ratchet freak's user avatar
7 votes

Will lowering the central heating water temperature reduce cost when using district heating?

Tl;Dr; Your radiators may be oversized, but it does not matter. Your radiators have a design temperature and wattage. The "wattage" is expressed per design temperature, usually for three ...
Thomas's user avatar
  • 161
6 votes

Can I just cut power to a central air and heating system, or should I follow a shutdown procedure?

I would start by turning the thermostat off, including the fan setting to "off" and not "auto". The HVAC breaker should be a 240v double pole breaker. Most homes have four of those. One for the water ...
Jerry_Contrary's user avatar
6 votes

Can I use a floor register/diffuser in a toe-kick?

No reason I can think of not to do so. Should be purely mechanical and passive, and (unlike adapting plumbing or electrical things) no safety issues. The one problem, as noted in a comment, is ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
6 votes

What does "Auxilliary heat is running too long" mean in my ecobee

Simply put, a heat pump moves heat from outside air (or better, from the ground, which maintains a warmer temperature through winter than does the air.) This is more efficient than resistive heating, ...
DrMoishe Pippik's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

How to Lower the Ouptut of Oversized Furnace

Cut the gas back some by slightly closing the gas valve (the one on the pipe, not in the unit), however be prepared to have to reset the furnace occasionally if your local gas pressure drops ...
Mazura's user avatar
  • 13.4k
5 votes

How to Lower the Ouptut of Oversized Furnace

If partially closing a single supply vent caused your high limit to trip you probably have an restriction problem. I would recommend investigating a bypass damper with a return and supply temp. ...
bigbull15's user avatar
  • 516
5 votes

Why is there a vent on the ductwork coming right from the furnace?

Furnace installers and/or home owners will put a register in the duct work to provide some heat in the winter to that area. The number of these supply registers is determined by the typical use and ...
d.george's user avatar
  • 12.4k
5 votes

Is Electric Central Heating worth it if using Solar Panels?

Start with efficiency Harper's overall point about starting with an efficient envelope is dead-on; managing solar gains is going to be a huge part of it down in Texas, and you'll also need to be ...
ThreePhaseEel's user avatar
5 votes

HVAC Heat only comes on when Fan is set to "ON" (not Auto)

The zone board's gone bad Since upstairs is broken, yet downstairs is fine, and it's not a thermostat issue, I'd point the finger at the zone board having something wrong with it. Just to make sure, ...
ThreePhaseEel's user avatar
5 votes

Should I add air ducts when finishing my basement or rely on space heaters?

One thing you could consider would be to install dampers in the duct work to close off various legs of duct. This would allow you to have heat available anywhere in the house you want, but to close ...
FreeMan's user avatar
  • 46.8k
5 votes

How can I protect a frozen heat pump in cold weather while waiting for service?

One more place the problem may be, besides those already mentioned. The outside unit's fan has a relay that is supposed to de-energize the fan during the defrost cycle. If this relay sticks closed, ...
SteveSh's user avatar
  • 6,872

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