Writing from the temperate Pacific Northwest, Irene3 describes an unanticipated problem with a Mitsubishi heat pump installed just a few years ago.
“We had the impression that it would be easy to install heat strips later if it turned out it couldn’t keep up during the coldest weather,” Irene says. “We are in Seattle and generally get only a couple of weeks below freezing, if that. The last couple of years we have had a few uncomfortably chilly weeks in January or February, so we decided it was time to spring for heat strips.”
And that’s where she ran into trouble. It turns out that the strip heater compatible with the system’s air handler goes on top of the unit rather than inside, and the original installer is not sure he can make it work with the available clearance. The heat strip add-on is 6 in. tall, and there’s only 9 1/2 in. to work with.
“It seems to me that for something we really only need a couple of weeks of the year, if we can’t have a centralized solution, it would make just as much sense to use good quality portable heaters,” Irene says. “My husband thinks a centralized solution has to be possible and we should look for a different Mitsubishi specialist. What say you all?”
That’s the issue for this Q&A Spotlight.
There’s plenty of room…or not
At first, Akos Toth thinks that with 9 in. of room for a 6-in. auxiliary heater there’s plenty of room. What’s the problem?
“The heater can be installed farther downstream in your main trunk as well,” he says. “It doesn’t have to be right by the air handler.”
But after looking at two photos that Irene provides, Toth changes his…
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