HEAT PUMP VS GAS HEAT

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cseagle

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Oct 18, 2018
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We have had our 2015 Itasca Suncruiser 37F since May and have only had to run the heat a couple of time.  When I turned it on, the thermostat would say electric and I would hear a fan running and feel the heat coming out of the floor and I thought also out of the ceiling.    Today we came to the rv and I turned it on and it was running the same way, but my husband came in and messed with the thermostat and somehow changed the mode and now it isn't working the way it was.  The heat stopped coming out of the floor and we started feeling cold air coming out of the ceiling.  He eventually turned it to gas and we feel the heat coming out of the registers, but it isn't being pushed by a fan like it was before.  I don't know if I was confused or if he messed something up.  Can someone tell me the best way to heat the rv when the temperature is in the 30's?  And how the thermostat needs to be set for it to happen?
 

PJ Stough

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Sep 20, 2009
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2,394
Location
Central Iowa
With our 2005 Winnebago Voyage we can set the thermostat on electric heat, but if it gets too cold for the heat pump to be efficient, the propane furnace will come on.
 

jackiemac

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Feb 22, 2016
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Scotland
Our thermostat is the A/C a fan and the heating.  If yours is similar then you may need to change the fan settings, I think to auto.
 

Alfa38User

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Oct 4, 2007
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6,678
Your Itasca should have a Coleman basement model air conditioner with a true heat pump.

The heat pump function will not do well in the below 35-40? outside temp.range so you should at least consider the "gas" function (which means the propane furnace) as 1st choice. However, a true heat pump  type should switch automagically to gas if it unable to keep up as PJ Slough has said. The A/C fans may  or may not continue to run, depending on the model of the thermostat.  Any warm air will come out of the ceiling vents when the heat pump runs. (for example, in my unit with the same Coleman basement air unit as yours has, it does not run both sets of fans but I have only floor vents for both heat and cooling!!) Another note, the "Fan" switch on the thermostat applies only to the built-in air conditioner fans and not the furnace, it has its own self controlled 12V fan and so the heat is coming from a different place physically. The thermostat Fan switch should be left in Auto as jackiemac has suggested. The furnace is usually quite noisy so you should easily detect the difference in heat source, the furnace is quite a bit hotter as well.

Note that some rooftop A/C units do use an electric element in the air conditioner for "electric" heat and are not a true heat pump, not sure, but they may not switch automatically to gas.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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76,128
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West Palm Beach, FL
I suspect your husband's fiddling had nothing to do with it. Most heat pump systems automatically activate back-up heating if the inside temperature is  much less than the Set-temperature on the thermostat.  5 degrees is a common differential, but it may vary a degree or two for different systems.  When the temperature inside comes up sufficiently, the auto-back-up shuts off and heating continues on heat pump alone.

If you want furnace-only for heat, your thermostat should have a setting for that rather than the heat pump.
 

garyb1st

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Dec 31, 2010
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4,121
Location
Southern California
Our roof top AC's have heat pumps.  Don't recall the exact temp, but they will not operate below a set temp.  I think it may be 40?. 
 
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