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Old 10-04-2022, 12:20 AM   #1
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Dumb Question About Heat Pump Usage

Okay, guys I can't lie so since we bought our new MH I'm exploring new features, but I want to ask about Heat Pump, what, when how do I use it or should I be concern and just use my furnace?
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Old 10-04-2022, 12:31 AM   #2
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Heat pumps are efficient at "taking the chill" off when the ambient temperatures are cool but not below or even approaching freezing ...i.e. at 40, it becomes less efficient and not much use at all as the temperature approaches 32 or freezing. It's the a/c running in reverse so isn't equipped to really provide the BTU (?) to heat comfortably in very cold temperatures.

Once the temperature drops below 40, your furnace should kick in and give you the heat you expect at colder temperatures. I've used the heat pump at below 40 occasionally but once it drops close to or below 32 outside, it's essentially useless.
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Old 10-04-2022, 12:34 AM   #3
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In addition to the post by theroc ; you need the furnace to warm the floor and any water tanks below the floor , so don't wait too long to switch to furnace for warmth.
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Old 10-04-2022, 12:53 AM   #4
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Thank you, do the heat pump use propane or electricity?
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Old 10-04-2022, 01:58 AM   #5
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Old 10-04-2022, 07:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by KingKid View Post
Thank you, do the heat pump use propane or electricity?
A true heat pump has a reversing valve in the refrigerant lines. When on heat pump mode, the functions of the condenser coil reverses to become an evaporator coil and visa-versa.
In low humidity areas, think SW U.S.A. a heat pump may function down to freezing temperatures, in the humid areas it may only function down to apporx. 45F before the evaporator coil freezes over and the heat pump stops working.
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Old 10-04-2022, 07:53 PM   #7
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However, many RV HVAC systems will automatically activate the propane furnace if the heat pump is unable to adequately produce heat. Typically if the interior temperature stays more than a couple degrees below the thermostat "set" temperature, the furnace will be started.
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Old 10-05-2022, 02:02 AM   #8
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All of this is very interesting, I'm starting to get it now I guess that I will have to go out to my MH in storage and play around with it, I will probably need to run my generator also.
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Old 10-05-2022, 06:35 AM   #9
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We do not use our heat pump for the reasons noted above. The standard furnace does a much better job, and is quieter.
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Old 10-05-2022, 07:16 AM   #10
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We use the heat pumps a lot. Why not save the cost of using propane when the heat pumps can warm things up? When the temps are in the lower range, I will use the furnace in the morning to help warm up the floors. Then, I switch over to the heat pumps and also use a small electric heater. Since the heat from the heat pumps enters the coach via the AC ducts, it does take some time to get the heat down to the lower areas of the coach and that's where I find a small electric heater a big help.

As mentioned already, when you start getting into freezing temperatures, you want to use the furnace. And, you may want to find out if your coach is designed such that hot air from the furnace is vented to your water bay. Since I bought our Bay Star used, I contacted Newmar to verify that heat from the furnace does get directed to the water bay. I've learned that I can be in temperatures in the teens and the water bay stays above freezing. I bought a temperature gauge with remote sensors so I can monitor the water bay temps while in the coach. It's something you may want to consider if you use your rig in below freezing temps.
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Old 10-05-2022, 03:01 PM   #11
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If unmetered elect is available and not too cold many use heat pumps or carefully use elect heaters/fireplace. Also like everything else it's good to know furnace works when it's really going to be needed, better to test it early.
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Old 10-05-2022, 03:05 PM   #12
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I never thought the heat pumps were worth the effort. Heat likes to rise which is the normal result of a furnace with ducts at the floor. The heat pump is at the ceiling trying to force warm air down. The couple times I tried them, it took longer to warm up the coach. It's never efficient to warm a room with the heat source at the ceiling. I would rather warm up quickly than listen to the roof AC units fight against the physics of heat.
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Old 10-05-2022, 03:41 PM   #13
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Old 10-05-2022, 03:58 PM   #14
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We use our basement heat pump as default. Never been chilly. While it is true it runs longer to warm a cold coach(ie warm air from the ceiling), it works very well to ~40*. The furnace will auto kick in when the heat pump cannot manage the thermostat setting. Our furnace, while it works great, is a bit of a gas hog and will quickly deplete our LP gas reserves.
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