What is a Heat Pump Electric Heat Kit? - Ask the Expert Episode 241

Today's question comes from Lisa. "Hey Dan, what does a 10 kw electric heat kit from Revolv do on a heat pump?"

Revolv units are heating and air conditioning units usually made for mobile homes or manufactured homes. I guess technically they could go anywhere.

A lot of air source conventional heat pumps don't do that well when it gets below freezing. They start to lose efficiency. If you're in a mild climate and you don't have that many days where it gets that cold, then a heat pump is great. For the says it gets really cold, you can get an electric heat kit.

An electric heat kit is used as auxiliary or emergency heat. You can kick that on when it's like twelve degrees or one degree outside. And that will keep you warm. Electric heat kits are also used to help heat your house while the condenser is in defrost mode.

An electric heat kit is always good to have just in case. With a heat pump, it's possible that your compressor could go out. In that case, the heat kit will act as your backup and you won't be without heat.

More questions? Ask in the comments below.

8 comments (view/add)
    Posted on 12/29/2020

    We recently installed an 8kw heat kit in a Mrcool Universal heat pump. It has really helped my heat pump out, especially when defrosting. It's 20 degrees out as I type this, the pump is "resting" and the house is 73. One thing that is not abundantly clear in the kit's instructions or the manual is that with this particular model, you need to disconnect the air handler electricity once you install the heat kit. As the heat kit supplies the electricity to run the air handler. Leaving both hooked up can trip a breaker (or perhaps worse).

  • Dan Danowski
    Dan Danowski from Ingrams
    Posted on 12/30/2020

    Thanks, Tim, that's good to know!

  • Curt
    Posted on 12/24/2020

    Can I add an electric heat kit to my 18000 btu mini split I installed about 2 years ago?

  • Dan Danowski
    Dan Danowski from Ingrams
    Posted on 12/28/2020

    While I can't be certain because I don't know what model mini-split you have, but most mini-splits do not have heat kit options.

  • Tammy
    Posted on 12/23/2020

    If the heat pump/condenser goes out...how does the heat kit work as a backup?

  • Dan Danowski
    Dan Danowski from Ingrams
    Posted on 12/28/2020

    The electric heat kit is in the air handler, so it does not need the condenser to function.

  • Joe bickers
    Joe bickers
    Posted on 12/8/2020

    When will my heat pump go into defrost ? I haven't caught it yet, but looks like it might have done it at some point. I don't recall seeing this in the manual. Thanks ?

  • Dan Danowski
    Dan Danowski from Ingrams
    Posted on 12/9/2020

    Some heat pumps use a timer that accumulates compressor run time, and others use several electronic sensors to determine when to initiate defrost. It just depends on the specific model as well as specific weather conditions.

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