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Author Topic: A/C heat strip  (Read 722 times)
bhgareau
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« on: December 03, 2012, 07:25:27 pm »

I was out over the weekend running my generator  and turned on the a/c unit heat strip to give the generator some load. I ran the generator and heat strip for about an hour and the unit continued to blow cold air the whole time. Outside air temp was +15F and the inside never did get warm even with the thermostat set at 80. Does anyone know if the heat strip tries to heat the outside air or does it recycle the air inside the unit?  This is the first time I've tried to use the heat strip since we took delivery last April.
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njheart on the road
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2012, 06:03:07 am »

I was always told that the heat strip will help depending on the ambient temperature -- but that if it is very cold inside the RV, you are better off heating things up quickly with the gas furnace or with a ceramic heater -- The techno-guys here will be better at explaining why but I have found this to be true in practice in both my small B vans and now in the PC Tumbleweed.  I only use the heat strip in my MH's when I just want a little bit of warm up --- at other times of year when we are in a cold place (like Illinois) and out overnight, I will let the furnace warm up the floor first, then either put on the ceramic heater to maintain or the heat strip if temps are in its range.
 Coffee
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2012, 01:11:05 pm »

njheart is right.  The heat strip is not an electric heater than can bring the temperature inside a motor home from 15 degrees to 80 degrees.  It is ideal to use on a cool evening when there is a chill in the summer air.  Actually it will perform better than that as it can warm the interior far too much if you let it.

In winter conditions, you might find the heat strip usefull after the interior is all warmed up from the furnace.  It might maintain a comfortable pre-heated temperature.

BTW:  The roof top a/c unit recirculates air from inside the cabin, not drawing in air from the outside.  At least that is how it works with our 2007 model.

Ron
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gl1500
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 02:08:26 pm »

bhgareau,
   When you are running your  heat strip, place your hand up by the outlet of the A/C.  If you feel no heat, then you have another problem.  I live in N. Idaho and use the heat strip to exercise the generator.  The heat strip is heating and re-cycling air in the coach only, not outside air.   
   Bob
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Frank
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2012, 02:31:31 pm »

I ran my gen yesterday with the furnace on for load. Both the furnace & A/C
(heat strip) ran. How does that new thermostat work for furnace only?
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« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2012, 03:47:56 pm »

Bhgareau

Was the generator putting power to the microwave? The heater fan will run on house batteries. You may have tripped the switch on the generator. When I run the generator, I'll set the time on the microwave to make sure power is coming out of the generator.

George
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echo11
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« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2012, 03:54:49 pm »

Is running just the heat strip for 2 hrs, enough of a load (50%) to exercise the generator?  I usually run a space heater, but using the heat strip sounds easier.

I was under the impression that the heat strip would only work if the temperature was above 40 or 50 degrees.
Roni
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bhgareau
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2012, 02:29:16 am »

Thank you for all the information. With the current model thermostat you can run either the furnace or the heat strip but not both at the same time. The furnace works fine. The generator seems to be working fine. I'll have the heat strip checked out next time we travel thru  Elkhart.
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Barry-Sue
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2012, 06:09:49 pm »

Just some info on the heat strip.

The heat strip is really a coil that runs on AC power and provides 1500 watts or 5600 BTUs of heating power, similar to that of an electric floor heater. Contrary to popular belief, the heat strip puts out as much heat as the kind you plug into an outlet - about 5600 BTUs. The difference is that the air conditioner has a higher volume blower and the air does not feel real hot but it is suppose to be 5600 BTUs.  The A/C blower blows air over the element and out the ducts, providing heat to the RV. It really cannot heat up the RV in very cold conditions as others have said but once the RV is at a desired temperature it will maintain that heat.

With that said we do use it in the mornings to keep the chill out.  But we also have a small electric ceramic heater to use in the main living area when watching TV.  Less noise and due to the lower volume blower feels much warmer.

Sue
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echo11
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2012, 06:24:45 pm »

Sue,
This is interesting.  Based on the heat strip being able to providing 1500 watts of power, this would seem to be a good way to exercise the generator for the required 2 hour period.  I usually set up an electric space heater, but this would be much easier.
Thanks for the good info!
Roni
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