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Old 01-29-2012, 10:29 AM   #1
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Question Heat Pump

We just purchased a used 2004 Newmar Dutch Star and our thermostat has 3 modes: cool, heat, heat pump. I know heat is a furnace, and cool is ducted through ceiling vents, but how does the heat pump work and when would we set it for heat pump? Sounds dumb, but new to this. Thanks for any replies.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:33 AM   #2
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Heat pump is electric and just like the one in your house. Usually only works good when the outside air temp is above 45 degrees.

Heat would run your propane furnace.

In your house you would normally have electric heat strips to augment your heat pupm, in the MH the propane does the same.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:53 AM   #3
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Heat Pump

So, when I get up in the morning and just want to take the chill off..and it's around 45-55 degrees out, then it would probably be best to use the heat pump, if using shore power...thus, saving on propane?
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:55 AM   #4
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The heat pump mode is your a/c runs in reverse. A/c take the heat out of the coach and transfers it to the outside. In the heat pump mode it takes the heat from outside and transfers it to the inside. Thats why it's not very efficeint at temps below 45 degrees as there isn't much heat to be taken out of the air.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:57 AM   #5
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So, when I get up in the morning and just want to take the chill off..and it's around 45-55 degrees out, then it would probably be best to use the heat pump, if using shore power...thus, saving on propane?
Absolutely! Our new coach is the first of three coaches we have owned that included a heat pump and I have learned to love it.

Most of our travels enable us to use the heat pumps more than the furnace and the savings on propane is substantial.

Enjoy!

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Old 01-29-2012, 11:25 AM   #6
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As mentioned, heat pumps are inefficient with temps. below 40/45 degrees, but they work great in in parts of Florida and other parts of the South during the winter months. Although we currently don't have one in our motor home, you can bet that they will be checked off on the option list for the new future MH. Enjoy the warmth on the campground's dime!

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Old 01-29-2012, 01:17 PM   #7
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If temps are below freezing it's best not to use the heat pumps, if they can't defrost they will lock out after a few tries.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVFSULADY View Post
So, when I get up in the morning and just want to take the chill off..and it's around 45-55 degrees out, then it would probably be best to use the heat pump, if using shore power...thus, saving on propane?
I don't know how yours is set up but on ours if you set the temperature more than 3 degrees above what it is in the coach the gas furnace will come on until it warms up.

If you don't want the gas furnace to come on do not set the temperature more than 3 degrees higher than the temperature showing on the thermostat.

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Old 01-29-2012, 01:47 PM   #9
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Hi RVFSULADY,
Welcome to iRV2. This is how your Newmar DSDP coach should be set up.

1. On zone 1 there is an additional setting called "furnace". This will not be available on zone #2. The furnace setting bypasses the roof mounted HVAC heat pumps. Only the propane furnace will work on the "furnace" setting. If "Furnace" is chosen on zone #1, zone #2 should be turned off.

2. In Florida (central or south) consider setting zone 1 and 2 to Heat Pump. The heat pumps will work down to an outside temp determine by the heat pump manufacturer (around 40-45 degrees F). When too low of an outside temp is detected, the propane furnace will automatically come on and the heat pumps will be deactivated. When the temp warms to allow the heat pump to operate correctly, the system will revert back to the heat pump setting.

This part gets a bit picky, but one needs to know this information. Once the temp is in the 40s, the heat pumps may need to defrost. In your Newmar coach this is automatic. However, one may get concerned because of the different noise the heat pumps will make. When in defrost mode you can hear the compressor running, but the fan that blows air into the coach will not run. This might make one think there is a problem with the heat pumps. There is no problem, they are just defrosting. Once the defrost cycle is complete, there is a time out period until the heat pumps and the fan return to normal operation. During the defrost cycle no heat is available to the coach. The defrost cycle could take 10-20 minutes to complete, it all depends.

Some find this process irritating. They just set zone #1 to furnace and turn zone 2 off. The furnace will keep the coach toasty warm.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:54 PM   #10
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A heat pump is a reverse cycle air conditioner. There is a reversing valve inside the unit and it switches the evaporator and condenser coils so that the cold air is not outside and the interior is blowing warm air. Typically these units perform well to about 38 degF outside temperature. Below 38 degF, the unit will normally shut off or periodically defrost as the outside coil can ice over.
HowStuffWorks "How Heat Pumps Work"

Ken
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:18 PM   #11
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Thanks

Ah ha, the light bulb comes on, and I think I understand how it all works. But, certainly had no idea before this post. Thanks to everyone. Thanks GKD for the future reference info.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:25 PM   #12
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Tid Bit......As it was said, the heat pumps are just your A/C running in reverse. Consequently, they can be noisey when you're trying to relax in the evening. Many coaches running two A/C units duct them the length of the coach. When we are in the front of the coach using the heat pumps, we turn the one on in the bedroom and close the bedroom ducts. This allows us to turn the front one off, but keeps the front warm and the noise down. When we go to bed, we do the reverse. Often we just close all of the ducts in the bedroom when sleeping and just let the heat migrate back, making for a more comfortable sleeping environment.

Also mentioned was the fact that a reversing valve is what activates the heat pump portion. The A/C unit reversing valve defaults to the heat pump mode. When you turn on the A/C the valve has to move to make cold air inside the coach. For that reason, its a good idea to exercise your A/C in both modes.
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:59 PM   #13
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For that reason, its a good idea to exercise your heat pump in both modes.
When I run the generator I set one heat pump to cool and the other to heat, after about a half hour I reverse the settings. and let them run another half hour.

Our present stick house had a heat pump when we bought it 25 years ago. In our moderate temps here they work very well. In the MH they work just as well and save a bunch of propane. They are also much more efficient than electric heaters too. The heat is cooler than skin temp so the heat feels cool to you, but it really does work.
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