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Aux heat staying on 100% of time

5 days ago

the other day I got home and it was 85 degrees in the house. The thermostat is set to 70! I went down to the HVAC unit and felt the duct by the heat strips and found it hot so I took the cover off and saw them glowing. Ended up turning the breakers off and calling a pro. My question is he found a cracked condensor. Would this cause the aux heat to stay on? My wife was at the house when he came so I didn’t get a chance to speak to him. I am Assuming he knows what he is doing but can anyone verify?

Comments (10)
  • kevinande

    Cracked condenser? I assume you have a heat pump? Can a cracker condenser coil cause this...possibly. If you have lost enough refrigerant from the system and it is not able to function properly, the system will recognize that it can't keep up with the heating demand and energize your aux heat. This in of itself does not explain why the system goes to 85 degrees when set for 70 however. You need to verify where this crack is. Turn on your system in normal heating mode and go outside and see if the compressor is running. If it is great shut it down, get the PRO on the phone or back on site and have him tell/show exactly where this crack is and if you are low on refrigerant as a result. I would run in emergency heat mode until I determine what the problem is as to not damage or destroy your condensing unit. If this is a pure electric furnace, then I would suspect the thermostat to start.

  • HU-523131662

    Kevin. Yes it is a heat pump I should have mentioned that... we are going through a home warranty company so they sent someone out to look at it. The suggested replacing the condensor AND the thermostat. My wife sent me a pic of the invoice and it shows he added 3 Lbs of Freon as well, not sure but That sounds like a significant amount to me. I will shut off the pump to avoid any further damage until they approve the repaird. Thanks for the input

  • dadoes

    Can be caused be a failed controller board somewhere in the system.

    Some years ago a board failed in my heat pump system which caused the heat strips to energize when the blower was off. This happened in the summer season. My electric bill was noticeably higher. I increased the daytime "setback" temperature (when I was out at work) by several degrees, which caused cooling to run less during the day, which increased the bill even more because the heat strips were on more/longer, and the electric bill was higher yet. I figured out the problem when I went up to my attic to examine the blower unit and found the top of it (where the heat strips are located) to be very hot.

  • mike_home

    The condenser is the unit that sits outside the house. It is made up of several components (compressor, fan motor, etc). A condenser does not "crack", but one of the components may have failed.

    Did adding the 3 lb of refrigerant fix the thermostat problem? If it didn't then you should not pay the invoice and get rid of the home warranty company and hire a reputable HVAC company to properly diagnose the issue.

    This sounds like a thermostat or control board issue. When was the last time the heat pump was serviced?

  • tigerdunes

    agree with Mike especially about kicking the home warranty company to the curb....either there is a terminology confusion on your issue or the warranty company has no idea what they are doing...


  • kevinande

    Seeing as to how there is refrigerant loss we can all assume the "crack" in the condenser is leak somewhere on the outdoor coil. You will need to pay the invoice, because he did fill it with 3 lbs of refrigerant. I personally would not have allowed them to do that. If there is a loss of refrigerant there is a leak plane and simple. I question any PRO who just fills it back up and walks away, This is just a band aid and will only fix the problem temporarily until the problem is repaired or the condensing unit is replaced. If it's R-22 then not only is it expensive it is also damaging to the environment. The tech did recommend the condenser needs replacing, so call that warranty company, stay on their butts and get that condenser replaced ASAP.

    Seeing as to how the system has to be opened up anyway talk to the HVAC company about replacing the R-22 with another gas that is compatible with R-22 such as R407c. This could save you a considerable amount of money in the future if you develop another leak. If you go this route make sure they flush the indoor coil and line set. Some say it is not necessary, but better safe than sorry. Where I live they can not charge you again for refrigerant for the same issue, so check into that and don't pay for refrigerant again if you are not required to. One other thing to consider is that if you are going to get a new condensing unit anyway check with the warranty company about moving on to a R410a system. I doubt the warranty company will cover the new coil/furnace, however if you have the cash it is worth doing it now. You essentially have a new system and the warranty company paid for half.

    Warranty companies catch a lot of flack, however if you don't have the cash to fix these items, something is better than nothing. A little knowledge goes a long way and if you know how to deal with them it's not too bad.

  • mike_home

    If the refrigerant line is “cracked” then adding more refrigerant is a waste of money. Home warranty companies are in the business of making money not repairs.

    If a new condenser is needed, then you will likely need a new coil. The home warranty company will come up with a way to cover their costs while installing the least expensive equipment and doing shoddy work. Perhaps I am a pessimist but there are many posts with bad outcomes.

  • w0lley32

    Are you sure he did say cracked condenser and not cracked insulator? A cracked insulator would allow the coil to short to ground and complete the circuit, whether the thermostat calls for heat or not.

  • HU-523131662

    Kevin, you are correct the crack is in the condensor coil which I did not specify before. Sorry, I am peetty handy but am clueless when it comes to HVAC. When I got home last night I turned the breaker back on and everything is operating as normal so I guess the low charge from the leaking condensor coil is the issue. I only paid the $100 service fee they didn’t charge any extra to fill it so at least we have it operating while we are waiting for approval from the warranty company. I have heard a lot of negative things as well so I’m not getting my hopes up about them covering everything but fingers crossed. Thanks for everyone’s input, at the very least I got educated a bit on how my system operates.

  • tigerdunes

    Gas n go is unprofessional. If that was the cause of your problem, then it will come back usually at the most inoportune time. The correct method is to locate leak and see if it is repairable.


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