An electrical heat strip could be the just thing standing between you and also frozen, explode pipes. Or her home acquiring so cold once the warmth pump breaks under that you need to leave and go elsewhere.

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Most heat pump solution should have them. They room used primarily as emergency warmth or back-up heat because that times the warm pump chin breaks down or cannot save your residence warm.

What are electrical heat strips?

Electric heat strips are electric resistance heaters, favor huge an are heaters, installed in the wait handler the a warmth pump system. If the warm pump stops working in winter, the warm strips are activated because that emergency heat. They might not store your house as heat as you’d like, yet they should create enough heat to store the indoor temperature above freezing.

Where are We walk Here?

Heat strips have several purposes, and also they’re all explored here:
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Electric warmth Strip FAQ:

Electric heat Strip FAQ:

What are electric Heat Strips in air Handler Units?


As you deserve to see native the image, an electrical heat piece looks something choose the aspect in a room heater, only bigger – much larger in some cases. The has more wiring because an wait handler is much more complex. Electric furnaces use heat strips just like this to produce heat.

Electric warm strips space made in size from 3kW to 25kW because that residential waiting handlers. The most frequently used sizes are 5, 7.5, 10, 15, 20 and also 25 kilowatts. See heat Strip options below if you interested in knowing just how those number equate to BTUs the heat.

HVAC technicians recommend heat strips based upon two connected criteria:

The size of your warmth pump mechanism – bigger system, bigger heat strip. And the size of your warm pump is based on the following two.The size, configuration, construction and other details pertained to your home.Your climate – the colder your climate, the more kW of warmth strips you have to have.

Where are heat Pump warmth Strips Installed?

In the waiting handler. Your warm pump system is made up of 3 main components – or 4 when warmth strips room included.

The exterior unit, i beg your pardon is generally called the heat pump, is technically referred to as the condensing unit. In winter, it’s coil and refrigerant gather heat outdoors. Store that in mind for the later discussion of warm strip purpose. The wait handler is the at home unit. It has actually a blower motor and fan. The fan sucks air into the mechanism to warm in winter or remove warm from in summer, and also then pushes “treated” air through ductwork and also grates right into your home’s living space. This is why these systems are referred to as “forced air” HVAC systems. The at home coil is installed in or directly linked to the waiting handler. Refrigerant cycles indigenous the condensing unit come it and back through copper refrigerant lines. In summer, the indoor coil collects heat and also takes the outside, properly cooling the waiting indoors. In winter, the disperses the warm into the ducts the the outdoor coil absorbed. The electric heat strip or strips are set up in the waiting handler. As soon as they come on, for this reason does the blower. The heat developed is pushed into your home’s rooms, and cool waiting is sucked right into the waiting handler through return ducts to it is in warmed.

What is the function of electrical Heat Strips in wait Handler Cabinets

Why room the warm pump warmth strips on?

That’s a common question us get.

The simple answer is that electric heat strips provide heat when your warmth pump can not capture and also pump sufficient into your home.

There are two typical scenarios for warmth strips being activated.

Your warmth pump isn’t working.

We’ve completed a Trouble-shooting guide for warm Pumps and ACs that you might find useful.

When your warmth pump fails for every little thing reason – electrical issue, regulate board failure, refrigerant leak, etc., it won’t deliver any heat.

Some systems instantly switch to the electric heat strip for heating. Other systems require that girlfriend manually move the thermostat to Emergency Heat.

The Emergency warm should assist considerably – through that, we mean it have to raise at home temperatures by 15-25 levels depending on outside temperatures and the kW rating the the warm strips.

When the mechanism is running on warmth strips only, climate it is essentially an electric furnace. That’s the many expensive kind of heating contrasted with a warm pump and gas/oil/propane heating system – but it beats frozen tube or freezing her tail off.

Your heat pump can’t store up with cold temperatures.

This should occur rarely, if ever. If your heat pump is correctly sized, climate it should have the ability to pump sufficient heat to save your residence warm almost always.

But southern Florida periodically gets freeze temperatures. Occasionally the temps in Tempe or Phoenix dip into the 30s.

If the warm pump is appropriately sized in those areas, climate it should have actually trouble maintaining up through temperatures the cold.

Why? The brief answer is that a appropriately sized unit in warm locations simply i will not ~ pump sufficient heat in bitter cold temperatures. If it could keep increase in those rare, really cold stretches, it would be too large for 95% that the days.

A warmth pump the is too huge causes a most indoor comfort issues. This is described in more detail in the Sizing a heat Pump ar of our warm Pump Reviews.

One of our readers recently shared this comment: “My lennex warmth pump once the temperature outside drop listed below 40 levels the heat pump keeps running and also won’t shut off like it struggles to warmth the home up that a 4 ton.”

That is to it is in expected, at least somewhat. Juanita’s heat pump is one of two people slightly too little or just the ideal size – if this script is rarely for her.

If the temps where Juanita lives routinely drop below 40, she have to probably have a gas furnace, not a warmth pump.

Juanita’s instance is just one much more reason we extremely recommend talking v heating and cooling decision with at the very least 3 different companies prior to you decision on the right equipment for your home.

Feel complimentary to usage our cost-free Local price quotes or toll-free number to gain advice and also written estimates with no expense or obligation.

Note: If your warmth strips room on once the heat pump is working and also outdoor temperatures aren’t very cold, other is wrong.

Control plank issue? one electrical worry might be bring about them to come on as soon as there is no need for them.On/Off? The warm strips might be manually turn on, so examine your thermostat to see if the Emergency warm option is on.Somebody goofed up. Your warmth pump is way too small, and also somebody marketed you or the previous owner the dorn unit.

What Size warm Strips space Available?

Here are typical sizes in kilowatts with their indistinguishable in BTUs.

Heat StripBTUsCostInstalled Cost
3 kW10,000 - 15,000$45 - $60Ave. $140
5 kW15,000 - 20,000$45 - $65Ave. $170
7.5 kW20,000 - 30,000$75 - $95Ave. $180
10 kW30,00 - 40,000$80 - $140Ave. $210
15 kW50,000 - 55,000$125 - $225Ave. $270
20 kW65,000 - 70,000$165 - $270Ave. $325
25 kW85,000 - 90,000$210 - $300Ave. $350

As you have the right to see, warm strips have the right to kick out fairly a most heat. A 1,500-watt an are heater creates simply 5,100 BTUs. Think about 5-15 that them running in your home!

It would be a most heatIt would certainly send your electrical bills with the roof

The form of heat developed by space heaters and electric warmth strips is dubbed electric resistance heat. A heat coil is energized v electricity. The material creates resistance, a little like friction, and heat is created.

Think around three varieties of heat:

A heat strip or room heater offers electricity. The electricity is generated at the power plant utilizing coal, natural gas or various other fuel. Then the electrical energy is sent out to the grid. It enters her home and also energizes the heat strip. The electricity flow is resisted, and heat is the result. It is an extremely inefficient, therefore the expense of the heat developed is lot higher.

For this reason, you do not desire the warm strips to it is in on any an ext than they need to be. And also those times are:

For emergency warm when the warm pump no workingUnusually cold weather stretches for her area

What Size warmth Pump heat Strips perform I Need?

The range is 3kW come 25kw for many homes.

We recommend the the heat strip have the ability to deliver at least 70% that the warmth the warmth pump does.

Competent HVAC pros appropriately size the warmth pump equipment – the condensing unit, at home coil, waiting handler blower and the heat strip.

Factors taken into consideration are:

Your home’s size, layout, structure materials, orientation and many other components used in a hands-on J HVAC load calculation.Your climate – just how cold go it commonly get in winter? What is the coldest it can get?

How much do electric Heat Strips Cost?

The table in the section over named What Size warmth Strips are easily accessible shows the cost of installed heat strips to be $140 come $350. Some cost more.

We use typical prices, however you can constantly find a an ext expensive product – or they’ll discover you if friend come throughout an HVAC technician that wants to maximize benefit at the homeowner’s expense.

The Bottom Line

Should i install electric heat strips for my heat pump system?

Yes. Unless winter weather is never really cold where you live, you can one day appreciate what an electric heat strip have the right to do because that you.

If she shopping for warmth pumps and also the salespeople are “pushing” warm strips, they are probably offering you an excellent advice. Not whatever an HVAC salesperson might shot to “upsell” friend on is appropriate for you – and we’re quite crucial of those that offer homeowners stuff they nothing need.

But we perform think a warm strip is necessary where winter temperature are regularly freezing.

Where they are cold however not freezing, an electrical heat strip is a issue of convenience that could save you money too.

In freezing weather, electrical heat strip expense will be much less than the cost of instead of burst pipes and also repairing potential water damage.

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In cold weather above freezing, an electric heat strip in her air handler should offer you enough heat to do your residence livable until the warm pump is repaired. Continuing to be in your residence rather 보다 going to a hotel will conserve you $65 to $150 per night depending on your location and also tastes. The expense of 2 or 3 nights in a hotel could be sufficient to cover the cost of electrical heat strips because that a warm pump.

Talk v several warm pump experts in her area, and get their advice. Gaining counsel from several experienced sources, hearing your perspectives, will enable you to do the ideal decision for your home.