I'm confused

Inspected a condo today. The HVAC system consisted of a split Lennox system with the outside unit model # HS29-024-2P and the indoor unit CB29M-21/26-1P. The outdoor unit does not have a reversing valve so its just an A/C unit (matches model number description). The indoor unit is an air handler with no other visible heat source (no gas lines etc. and again matches model number description). The thermostat is typical of those non heat pump thermostats (no emergency heat selection). So what do I have here? A purely electric heat system? The heat was working and I got a 20 degree rise.

I would appreciate any info form the experts.


It just has electric heat strips in the unit James. If you would have removed the cover on the air handler you would see them in the top end.
FYI all heat pumps also have strips, which is what your running on the emergency heat setting of the thermostat.

Yeah, i"m used to the heat strips in a heat pump system. Just never run into a system that relies on them as primary heat.

Thanks Sean.

How’s Florida? It was 68 degrees up here in Tenn today. Course that’s probably a cold spell for you.

75 and light breeze. A little warmer this winter. Covered up and I have help 3 days a week.
50% of the units down here are straight a/c with heat strips. Its easy to check. Turn on heat and wait for smell. If it smells its working.

Thanks for the help. Im glad the transition went well for you.


Hello Sean.
Not ALL heat pumps use electric resistance heat for backup heat, some use propane or natural gas. I know that seems odd to you southerners.

James …

I’m confused here. How could you not know if you had electric heat?

Hints Like … 240v into air handler; taking cover off and looking; 240v breaker on air handler; 240 breaker in electrical panel labeled HEAT or FURNACE.

What exactly do you do in an inspection in Tennessee

Some heat pumps have the reversing valve in back of the access panel and is not visible looking down inside the unit.

They should have but not always had one last week didn’t have one :wink: I have found a few that where missing

I thought I taught you better than that as a new CMI I surely hope that is not your operating procedure:shock:

Well I’m “confused” too!

Nobody that has posted thus far is 100% correct in their generalized response. We know what you mean, but it’s not what you said…

Based upon this, I can generalize that no one should be diagnosing HVAC equipment other than turning it on and off to see what happens.

Why do we need to know:

Size of the equipment.
Age of the equipment.
Efficiency rating of the equipment.
Whether it’s a heat pump or not.
If we can see a reversing valve.
What the dry bulb temperature rise matters.
If auxiliary heat is installed in a heat pump or not.
How to totally dismantle a unit to look inside.
Whether or not there is an auxiliary heat switch on the thermostat.
How to conduct a “smell test”.

It is confusing to me how anyone can conduct a home inspection without the ability to identify what they are supposed to be inspecting, and how.

If you cannot identify these items then you are not qualified to do a home inspection. I recommend you take courses here to understand what you’re looking at and give up on all the other horse crap that inspectors put in their inspection reports that are not necessary, required or have the ability to put you in court.

I don’t agree, how can one know if something is or is not as the MFG intended if they don’t understand how and why the item is performing including HVAC. One is not required to trouble shoot but should be able to recognize a problem be it HVAC, plumbing, electrical or structural. Why do you suppose all the questions are asked on this form? Let me answer my own question, not because we are suppose to be generalist but because we are still in the learning mode and we will always be in this business. We will never know it all even though some think they do.

Very well said .

I did an inspection on this furnace this morning no heat pump installed just Standard A/C with three heating elements in the AHU. I checked amp draw on each element and I do this on every electrical furnace and all HP’s that have back up emergency strip heat

That was the point!

How can you recognize a problem when you don’t know what an electric furnace IS? The learning curve begins with knowing what your supposed to be inspecting.

Well us old Farts are suppose to be helping the learning curve

Thanks Charlie well said .

Charley …

Are you still using one of those expensive multi-meters versus doing the finger on the contact test??

No finger, I use my tongue and just lick it!!!

I still enjoy the smell test. I like it most on dumpy foreclosures or hoarder homes. Really gets the senses going, and the gag reflex in good working order.