Heat Pump Question

How would you confirm that the back up heat strips are working in a heat pump system that does not have an emergency heat switch? Using normal controls.

I don’t know what you are calling normal controls. There has to be a switch of some nature. I have a hard time seeing through this darn board. There is the possibility that the strips are wire into a second stage of the stat and if that is the case turn your stat at least 10 degrees above its present set point and that will bring the second stage on, which should be the strips. You should get a temp rise above what the temp of the heat pump was discharging. The only true way to determine if all of the strips are indeed working is to check the individual strips with a amp meter.


Normal controls will not give you the answer – There is no yes or no light that will turn on

This will go passed the SOP


The old system that we had in our home did not have an emergency heat switch and I was wondering how to test the heat strips. Now I understand.

You are Welcome

No EM Heat Switch; wrong T-Stat installed.

To Test (without tools); Look at the electric meter before going into the house. Go turn the t-stat all the way up. Go back out and watch the electric meter.

I agree, wrong T-stat present.

Many meters here are digital, I like to see the disc spin on the older ones.

Lived here 17 years, same thermostat as every other house I have been in, in this subdivision of about 250 homes. Maybe they figured we wouldn’t need Emergency Heat way down here in Florida. I don’t know.

Probably not. The heat pump’s operation tolerance should be well within the low temperature levels in most of Florida. I doubt the system would even have emergency heat strips–the inside unit would be simply an air handler.

That makes sense. I was under the impression that all heat pump systems had some kind of Emergency Heat.

Most units also automatically turn on the heat strips during the defrost mode to cancel out the cold air during the 1-2 minute A/C cycle.

The cost for heat strips is not that much and most contractors include them around here. IF the t-stat has the feature and they are not working, I write it up as a broken or missing item.

It should be very easy to tell if the strips are present in the furnace if you don’t remove the cover just look at the size of the electrical supply wires to the furnace. If no strips you should have standard # 12 romax or if the unit plugs into an 110 volt outlet there will be no strips very simple.

That IS correct.
I overlooked your location! :-0
If you live in the right zone where heat strips are not needed, a standard t-stat is much cheaper and acceptable.

In this case you can’t determine if the strips are working, right?