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ecobee3 and Heat Pump

GregYGregY INMember
edited December 2014 in ecobee

I have some general questions with regards to heat pumps and the settings for this.

I have it wired correctly and everything seems to be working well except for now that it has dropped below freezing. I live in the metro Indy area and I am looking at the settings for the Heat Pump particularly. The heat pump is a Carrier 13 Seer (I think) model. I took the default settings from the ecobee3.

Type: Air to Air

O/B Reversing Value: Energized on Cool

Min Cycle Off Time: 300 seconds

Min outdoor temp: 35F

Aux Heat Simultaneous Operation: Disabled

Since the outside temp has dropped below 35F, it has been running Aux heat. This is going to kill me with my electric bills! During the winter the temperature in Indy stays below 35F quite a bit. Which makes me wonder why a HP was installed in the first place if it shouldn't run under 35F. This defintely can't be the case, I would think I could drop the min outdoor temp to a lot less than 35F because it seems that basically is telling the ecobee3 to run Aux heat the moment the outside temp drops below 35F. I would also think that Aux Heat Simultaneous Operation would be a good setting enable.

I am worried that by changing from the defaults I will damage some equipment. Makes me wonder if I bit off more than I can chew. Any guidance here? Thanks!

Answers

  • fpuigfpuig East CoastMember

    @GregY: I'm running a HP too and since the day 1 (two years ago) I use the Min outdoor temp in 20F deg. without having any issue. A heat pump can run @ 20F deg. without any problem, of course the efficiency decrease but continues working.

  • GregYGregY INMember

    How about the Aux Heat Simultaneous Operation setting? Do you use that?

  • fpuigfpuig East CoastMember
    Answer ✓

    Yes, its enable. But I have the "Compressor to Aux" set to 120 minutes. I don't want to use the Aux if its not necessary.

  • mlbowdenmlbowden Harrisburg, PAMember

    I had a similar problem that I have not resolved yet.

    When the thermostat called for heat, it would initialize the fan but not the compressor. E3 thought that the heat pump compressor was engaged but it wasn't. The fan would run for 30 minutes (set by the Compressor to Aux Threshold). The AUX heat would kick on to warm the house. Since the compressor never engaged (even though my E3 said it was engaged), I called to have the heat pump serviced. When I reinstalled my old thermostat, the compressor engages and the AUX never runs. However, when I reinstalled the E3, the compressor does not engage.

    I think I have it wired correctly. I'm going to have to call tech support for more help in making sure the E3 is wired and set up correctly.

  • pflanigan9pflanigan9 New JerseyMember

    I have a couple questions regarding installation with heat pumps as well.

    A bit about my system:
    11 year old electric Trane Heat pump (forced air), 2 Ton unit. Also have electric emergency heat strips for aux heat. This system heats a townhome (~1300 sq ft plus basement).

    My old thermostat wiring (using an old Honeywell thermostat) was:
    Blue: C
    Red: R
    Orange: O
    Green: G
    Yellow: W1 (which had a metal jumper from W1 to Y)
    White: W2

    I called Ecobee support to determine how to handle the jumper from W1 to Y. They told me to wire it as:
    Yellow goes to Y and White goes to W1 (same as their heat pump with auxillary heat diagram).

    I set the O/B to energize on cool (which is default), and lowered the compressor min outdoor temperature to be 20 deg F (is about 35 deg F here now).

    Now, when they system heats, the heat pump does not heat as efficiently as before (seems like compressor is not working but the fan is). The air feels cool to me and I do not hear the same sound that I used to hear when the heat came on. Only when the auxillary heat kicks on does the air actually feel warm.

    Should I rewire it with a jumper between Y and W1 and move the white to W2?

  • mlbowdenmlbowden Harrisburg, PAMember

    @pflagigan, it's not you! I noticed that the compressor does not kick on as well. I have the Compressor Min Outdoor Temp set to 0 degrees and noticed that only the fan will run. The compressor will never kick on. I have to wait until the temps drop again to call Ecobee tech support.

    Ecocech
  • dave376dave376 Eastern Shore, MDMember

    I have the same situation. Is there a solution from Ecobee?

  • jmattionijmattioni Philadelphia, PAMember

    pflanigan9: Y is normally used to call for compressor stage 1 and W1 is the first stage of aux heat. Double check your equipment setup in the ecobee to verify it describes your system. If no go then you may need to take a look at the wiring in your air handler and maybe also your outside unit. Take note of the wire colors and letters at each location.

  • jmattionijmattioni Philadelphia, PAMember

    A min temp of 35 F is way too high for a modern heat pump if you have electric backup. My installer said that my unit would be more efficient than electric backup down to a temp of 5 F. The installation docs for the unit back that up. Air-to-air heat pumps lose efficiency as the outside temp drops so it's a question of when the HP cost of operation becomes greater than that of your backup heat. If you have a high-efficiency gas furnace as backup then a higher lockout would be reasonable. If you have electric backup then a lower setting is more appropriate.

  • natsbnatsb MarylandMember

    I had similar results; the fan would run without the compressor. Ecobee support had me enable simultaneous aux heat operation and set the fan to be controlled by the thermostat. I lowered the minimum outdoor temp on my own since I know my heat pump's specs.

    Everything works fine now. Aux only kicks in when the temperature drops below 25, and the fan only runs when the compressor is active ( except for the minimum fan run setting ).

  • mcwagnermcwagner VirginiaMember
    edited January 2016

    I have a similar question: I have a Carrier 38EYG model (12 SEER) and it doesn't appear to pump any warm air when the compressor is running. I had the settings @fpuig specified to no positive effect.

    No warm air comes out unless Aux is running. When compressor runs for the 60 minutes I specified to run for the temperature drops further.

    Do I have a problem with my equipment or my settings?

    Thanks in advance!

    Edit: Issues with image.

  • VPBVPB FloridaMember

    During my setup I contacted my AC contractor concerning the reversing valve. On my Rheem unit the reversing valve default state is air conditioning and it reverses for the heat mode. This makes sense in Florida. ECOBEE is Canadian made they have set the EB3 for a heat pump default state of heat and the reversing for air conditioning. It seems that many of the above posts need to confirm their AC unit's default reversing valve state to ensure that ECOBEE's default setting is correct for their unit and geographic location. Just my thoughts. Paul

  • ssilencessilence Member
    edited February 2016

    From what I have gathered in my research before my ecobee arrives, most brands energize on a call for cooling, very few brands energize on a call for heat . Rheem/Ruud are are the main ones that energize in heating (this is what I have). Other brands such as Trane, Carrier, Bryant, Goodman,etc.. all energize the reversing valve for cooling.

  • mrkwkkrnmrkwkkrn IndianapolisMember

    @ssilence said:
    From what I have gathered in my research before my ecobee arrives, most brands energize on a call for cooling, very few brands energize on a call for heat . Rheem/Ruud are are the main ones that energize in heating (this is what I have). Other brands such as Trane, Carrier, Bryant, Goodman,etc.. all energize the reversing valve for cooling.

    Can you explain more about what you mean? How are you guys liking your ecobee3's?

  • On a heat pump you have a single wire (O or B) that is responsible for controlling the reversing valve. The reversing valve is either steady state or energized. Knowing the state when energized is necessary for proper setup of the thermostat. If you set it up wrong, when you call cool and it energizes the reversing valve, you may end up getting hot air, and vice versa. So knowing your system and how to set this up is necessary. Sometimes you can check and see how the old thermostat is setup. Look here for a little more explanation. behvac.com/troubleshooter41.htm

  • bren49bren49 Member

    I have a Rudd heat pump and the hvac repairman I asked to install my Ecobee 3 thermostat said it wouldn't work because of the reverse heat, whatever that means. Is that true?

  • lpricharlprichar VirginiaMember
    edited December 2016

    Regarding Min outdoor temp, how can you tell what setting is appropriate for your heat pump? I have a Goodman GSH130361AD and I've skimmed through the manual (http://www.hvacpartsshop.com/manuals/gshseriesmanual.pdf), but I can't find anything about min outdoor temperatures or efficiency drop off's.

    Ecobee support says anything below 35 will risk damage to HP, but I suspect they're just worried about liability.

  • kevinmcckevinmcc Macomb, ILMember

    @lprichar said:
    Regarding Min outdoor temp, how can you tell what setting is appropriate for your heat pump? I have a Goodman GSH130361AD and I've skimmed through the manual (http://www.hvacpartsshop.com/manuals/gshseriesmanual.pdf), but I can't find anything about min outdoor temperatures or efficiency drop off's.

    Ecobee support says anything below 35 will risk damage to HP, but I suspect they're just worried about liability.

    I believe the warning is for cooling, not heating. I know page 55 show a servicing table with freon temps. Your coil is going to be at least 10 degrees colder than the outdoors when running, so by that table you are not making much heat at 0F, by -15F you are making no heat. A heat pump often won't keep up with heat loss of home at 0F and your AUX will be running. If you coil is upstream (closer to the supply) than the AUX, consider using simultaneous heat pump and AUX. Even if you are only getting a little extra heat at 10F or 5F, the little preheat is still cheaper than most AUX heat costs. You definitely want to lockout at 0F if you get below 0F.

  • farrahkhan83farrahkhan83 Fairfax, VAMember

    @mcwagner Did you ever find a solution to your problem? I am having the same issue with my heat pump. Lately, it's been 10-20 degrees in VA (even during the peak daylight hours) and my heat pump is not performing with Ecobee4. I reinstalled my old thermostat and everything is fine. Someone, please help! Similar issue as McWagner and @mlbowden. @natsb, seems like you are from my area in the DMV - is your Ecobee working now?

  • kevinmcckevinmcc Macomb, ILMember
    edited December 2017

    @farrahkhan83 said:

    Make sure your Ecobee O/B Reversing Value settings are correct. Most heat pumps are energize on cool, but Rheem or Ruud are energize on heat. Make sure your wiring is correct and you have the correct wire on O/B.

  • @farrahkhan83 said:
    mcwagner Did you ever find a solution to your problem? I am having the same issue with my heat pump. Lately, it's been 10-20 degrees in VA (even during the peak daylight hours) and my heat pump is not performing with Ecobee4. I reinstalled my old thermostat and everything is fine. Someone, please help! Similar issue as McWagner and mlbowden. natsb, seems like you are from my area in the DMV - is your Ecobee working now?

    What is the air temp you are getting?
    Is "Aux Heat Simultaneous Operation" on? I was not getting enough heat with AUX only (cold nights in the teens) and found that setting. The compressor + AUX added 15 degrees to the air temp coming out.

  • jblake8304jblake8304 Nixa, MOMember

    Help! I have a 14 SEER Carrier Heat Pump with electric backup heat. Installed and Ecobee3 Lite yesterday, and the auxiliary heat doesn't seem to be working properly. The temp outside is 9 degrees, so it should be relying almost solely on auxiliary, but the air coming out of the registers is just 77-79. At one point shortly after install I was getting 95 degree air, but ever since then it's just barely warm.

    On install, I had A blue "c", orange "o", red "r", yellow "y", green "g", white "w2", and brown "e" wires. Called Ecobee support to ask what to do with the "e" and he said wire it to "w2" and move my old "w2" to "w1". He says the "e" was emergency (auxiliary) and that it would operate as the backup auxiliary on "w2".

    I have the heat pump and auxiliary set to work simultaneously. There is no difference in the temperature of the air when I'm on "heat" or "aux". It's just barely warm and just barely holding the temp in the house at a steady 66 degrees.

  • kevinmcckevinmcc Macomb, ILMember
    edited December 2017

    @jblake8304 said:

    What is your air handler make and model? Did you try setting the Ecobee to AUX and see if the AUX turns on? Also try swapping white and brown to W1.

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