2/18/2009

APPALACHIAN POWER IDENTIFIES TOP FIVE COSTLY HEAT PUMP PROBLEMS

Charleston, W.Va., February 18, 2009 – For many of Appalachian Power’s customers, high-efficiency electric heat pumps are a good heating and cooling choice. They save energy and help keep heating and cooling costs low. However, while working with customers whose electric consumption and bills have increased significantly, Appalachian Power customer services representatives are increasingly reporting heat pumps working improperly as a contributing factor in the higher usage and bills. 
 
In the winter, electric heat pumps collect heat from air outside and release it inside. They are very efficient when the temperatures are between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. They become less efficient and require a backup heat source, in most cases electric resistance heating, when temperatures drop below 34 degrees.      
 
The top five costly heat problems Appalachian Power representatives have seen this season are:
 
1. Low refrigerant – The most common heat pump problem is low refrigerant. Refrigerant is the medium that helps move heat from outdoors into the home. If the unit is low on refrigerant, the benefits of the heat pump are lost. It operates strictly on emergency heating to heat the home.
 
2. Stuck in defrost mode – In the winter, most heat pumps defrost every 60-90 minutes. Occasionally they can get stuck in defrost mode. If this happens, the heat pump acts as an air conditioner while the resistance heating in the electric furnace is trying to heat the house.
 
3. Plugged filter – A plugged filter or a dirty coil cause a heat pump to work extra hard and can cause costly damage to the unit. House filters should be checked every month and changed every one to three months. Heat pump coils should be cleaned at least once a year.
 
4. Digital thermostat – Many thermostats have a light on them that lets homeowners know when they are operating in resistance or emergency heating mode. Some newer digital thermostats do not have an emergency heat indicator light. Excessively operating in emergency heating mode can be an indication of a problem. Without the light some customers miss a warning sign that there is a problem. A common mistake is to set the thermostat on emergency heat rather than just heat.
 
5. Faulty duct work – Occasionally duct connections fail. If this happens homeowners sometimes heat the non-living areas of their homes. Customers should inspect duct work periodically to ensure that it is intact.
 
If homeowners feel comfortable troubleshooting a heat pump problem, a safeguard to ensure the heat pump is working is to feel the ¾ inch copper tubing that extends from the outdoor unit to the air handler inside. The tube should have black foam insulation on it. In the winter, after the outdoor unit has been operating for several minutes, this tube should be very warm. If it is cold consider calling a heating and air conditioning professional to service the unit.
 
Appalachian Power recommends that customers have their heat pump serviced regularly. It is an important step in saving energy. For more energy-saving tips, visit www.wattwhyandhow.com or the company’s web site, www.appalachianpower.com.           
 
Appalachian Power provides electricity to 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined.
 
# # #

Phil Moye
Corporate Communications Manager – W. Va.
pamoye@aep.com

More From AEP Ohio

Sign Up Now Pay Online for Free with Paperless Billing

Pay Online for Free with Paperless Billing

Learn More

You wanted a bill that is simple, clear and colorful

How We Restore Power Learn more

How We Restore Power

Find Out How Save Energy. Save Money

Save Energy. Save Money

Visit AEP.com
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of the AEP Terms and Conditions. View our Privacy Policy. © 1996-2019 American Electric Power. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy for AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power (AEP)

Scope

This Privacy Policy applies only to AEPOhio.com and the AEP Ohio customer mobile app (com.aep.customerapp.aepohio). Other AEP websites and apps may be governed by their own privacy policies, appropriate to the uses and needs of each. Throughout the site or app, we may provide links to resources and sites that are not part of AEPOhio.com or the AEP Ohio customer mobile app. This Privacy Policy does not apply to those resources and sites.

Consent

By using this site or app, you consent to the terms of this Privacy Policy. Whenever you submit information via this site or app, you agree to the collection, use, and disclosure of that information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Information Collected

  1. Passively collected information

    During your use of this site or app, we may collect anonymous information about your visit here through the use of server logs, cookies, scripts, tracking pixels and other Web traffic tracking systems. This information is aggregated and used to improve user experience through analysis of user activities. This information is never combined with any of the personally identifiable information you may provide in your use of the features of this site or app.
  2. Personally identifiable information

    On certain forms of this site or app, you may be asked to provide information about yourself or your account with us, either to identify yourself to us or to request a service from us. In each case, we will inform you what information is provided at your option and what information is required to complete the transaction or activity you are engaged in. If you are unwilling to provide this required information, you will be unable to complete the requested transaction.

Use and disclosure of information

The information you provide to us will be used to respond to requests you may make for services. Some or all of this information may be added to your permanent account record and may be used for research purposes.

In addition, we may use elements of this information in the following situations:

  1. We may transfer the information to AEP Ohio’s affiliates and subsidiaries, unless such transfer is prohibited by law;
  2. We may transfer the information as part of a merger, consolidation, acquisition, divestiture or other corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy);
  3. We may make the information available to third parties who are providing the product, service or information that you have requested (but not your password);
  4. We may make such information available to third parties who are providing services to AEP Ohio (for example, providing the information to third parties performing computer-related services for AEP Ohio);
  5. We may use the information to communicate with you about products and services that may be of interest to you.
  6. We may disclose the information if we form a good-faith belief that disclosure of such information is necessary to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding any illegal activities or regarding interference with the operation of our site or violation of its terms of use; or
  7. We may disclose the information if we believe that disclosure is required by law or regulation or in response to a subpoena or other order of a court or other governmental agency.

AEP Ohio uses Flurry Analytics Service (provided by Yahoo) in order to improve its mobile apps. Flurry’s privacy policy governs the use of this information.

Also, AEP Ohio reserves the right to share any aggregated information (i.e., non-personally identifiable information) with any third parties for any reason, unless prohibited by law.

We will not sell, rent or otherwise disclose the information we gather about you or your account to any third party, except as outlined in this Privacy Policy.

Security

AEP Ohio takes reasonable steps to protect your personally identifiable information as it is transferred to us, through the use of Web technologies such as the Secure Sockets Layer and others. However, no Internet transmission of information is ever completely secure or error-free. In particular, e-mail sent to or from AEP Ohio may not be secure.

How to Reach Us

If you would like to update your personally identifiable information or if you have questions about this privacy policy, please contact us.

Changes to This Policy

AEP Ohio reserves the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. If this Privacy Policy changes, the revised policy will be posted to this site. Please review this Privacy Policy before you provide any personally identifiable information through this site. Use of our web site after the posting of a revised privacy policy constitutes your consent to the revised policy.

This policy was last revised on December 13, 2017.

Close ×

Sign Up For Alerts

Subscribing to AEP Ohio alerts gives you instant notification for:

  • Billing & Payments - avoid late payments and disconnection
  • Outage Updates - find out if there's an outage at your address and when power will be back on

Win an Xbox One with Alerts!

Enroll in alerts to be eligible to win. Subscribing to I&M alerts gives you instant notification for:

  • Billing & Payments - avoid late payments and disconnection
  • Outage Updates - find out if there's an outage at your address and when power will be back on

Loading video...

×
  • Log In

    System Maintenance
    Many online functions, like login and outage reporting, won't be available from 4:00 AM - 8:00 AM ET on Saturday, 2/22.

    If you have an urgent issue, please call our Customer Operations Center at 800-672-2231.

  • Register
  • 1-800-672-2231