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gavine

Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast
Apr 1, 2014
2,610
2,171
Philadelphia, PA
We need a heater on/off button, similar to the AC on/off. I picked-up my car in May so I haven't spent a winter in it yet. The other day, it was 70-degrees (F) but humid in the early evening. I turned the AC on to take the humidity edge off, but with the temp set at 70-degrees, I felt a little chilly so I turned it up to 73. Doing that caused the heater to turn-on. I know this because I could smell it. The heater had never been used so it had a burning type of smell. As soon as it turned it back down to 70, the smell went away.

Why would the heat turn-on when the AC is on and it is 70-degrees outside? If that's a general preference, okay, fine, but I'd like to be able to override that. I just wanted to minimize the AC, not turn the heat on.

If there were an on/off/auto button for heat, that would be great. Auto for the masses and on/off for someone like me who wants to be able to control it.

If it were an ICE, I wouldn't care, but since the heat uses a lot of electricity from the battery, I don't want it turning-on without my knowledge. Once the smell burns-off, I won't even know the heat is running....which brings up another request, there should be an indicator on the screen telling you when the heater is running. Even if an on/off is not possible for some reason, at least the indicator would warn you to lower the temp until it turns off.

Am I the only one who cares about this? I searched but couldn't find any discussions about it.
 
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cinergi

Active Member
Sep 17, 2010
2,176
41
MA
There isn't one -- I think most of us override the fan speed to achieve what you're looking to do.
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,869
8,569
Maine
We need a heater on/off button, similar to the AC on/off. I picked-up my car in May so I haven't spent a winter in it yet. The other day, it was 70-degrees (F) but humid in the early evening. I turned the AC on to take the humidity edge off, but with the temp set at 70-degrees, I felt a little chilly so I turned it up to 73. Doing that caused the heater to turn-on. I know this because I could smell it. The heater had never been used so it had a burning type of smell. As soon as it turned it back down to 70, the smell went away.

Why would the heat turn-on when the AC is on and it is 70-degrees outside? If that's a general preference, okay, fine, but I'd like to be able to override that. I just wanted to minimize the AC, not turn the heat on.

If there were an on/off/auto button for heat, that would be great. Auto for the masses and on/off for someone like me who wants to be able to control it.

If it were an ICE, I wouldn't care, but since the heat uses a lot of electricity from the battery, I don't want it turning-on without my knowledge. Once the smell burns-off, I won't even know the heat is running....which brings up another request, there should be an indicator on the screen telling you when the heater is running. Even if an on/off is not possible for some reason, at least the indicator would warn you to lower the temp until it turns off.

Am I the only one who cares about this? I searched but couldn't find any discussions about it.

Ambient was 70F.
You told the car you wanted the temperature to be 73F.
How is it going to achieve an increase in air temperature of 3F?

So what you really want is a de-humidify only setting?
 

GaryREM

Member
Jul 16, 2013
619
243
Fairfax, VA
I guess I can understand why some people would want to be able to control every aspect of things.

But, I'm not sure what the need is from a practical standpoint. What is your concern?

Energy usage? I suspect that is insignificant.

I'm one of the masses who want's less things to think about when driving. I leave everything on auto unless driving with roof open and windows down. Let the system decide what to do and only adjust temp as needed.
 
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gavine

Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast
Apr 1, 2014
2,610
2,171
Philadelphia, PA
So what if I just want the fan on and no AC or heat? How do I know what temperature to set so as to not use the heater. Energy usage is part of the reason I want this. I feel like the heater and AC should BOTH have an on/off setting. Why does the AC have one but not the heat? If you want everything automatic than the AC should be fully auto too with no option to turn it off.

The heater energy usage is NOT insignificant. It uses much more than the AC does.
 
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mgboyes

Member
Apr 16, 2014
812
28
United Kingdom
The heater energy usage is NOT insignificant. It uses much more than the AC does.

Does it? How do we know? How much is "much more"?

I know that there's a direct heating element used to fast-start the heating in the cabin (mine came on this morning for the first time since I've owned the car, and there was a brief smell of burning dust that passed within 60s), but mostly the cabin is heated or cooled by the same heat pump that runs the AC, isn't it? I.e. it can run in either heating or cooling mode, and its power consumption is likely to be pretty similar either way.

If you want the cabin to be 73F, set the temperature to 73F.
If you want to use less power, put the car in range mode.
Then sit back and enjoy the ride...
 

Doug_G

Lead Moderator
Apr 2, 2010
17,882
3,390
Ottawa, Canada
Dial it all the way down, you will see LO instead of a temperature indication. You won't get heat.

- - - Updated - - -

The heater energy usage is NOT insignificant. It uses much more than the AC does.

Yes, but the amount of energy used depends greatly on the situation. If the car is cold soaked then it has to use the resistive heaters. If the drive train is warm, though, it uses that as a reservoir for the heat pump, and cabin heating power usage goes down dramatically - closer to 1 kW instead of up to 6 kW. So once you've been driving it for a while the energy usage drops dramatically.

This is a huge improvement on the Roadster, which only has a resistive heater. It's amazing that the Model S can heat a much larger cabin with much less energy.
 

scaesare

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2013
8,569
15,058
NoVA
Dial it all the way down, you will see LO instead of a temperature indication. You won't get heat.


This. If you have the A/C, you just get ambient air provided you DON'T have the windshield vents enabled. :cursing:

Yes, but the amount of energy used depends greatly on the situation. If the car is cold soaked then it has to use the resistive heaters. If the drive train is warm, though, it uses that as a reservoir for the heat pump, and cabin heating power usage goes down dramatically - closer to 1 kW instead of up to 6 kW. So once you've been driving it for a while the energy usage drops dramatically.

This is a huge improvement on the Roadster, which only has a resistive heater. It's amazing that the Model S can heat a much larger cabin with much less energy.

Yes, the S excess heat from the motor/inverter in the coolant loop to provide cabin heat... but does it do that by running the A/C subsystem a a heat pump? The service diagnostic screen for the thermal management system simply refers to it as a "chiller"...
 

gavine

Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast
Apr 1, 2014
2,610
2,171
Philadelphia, PA
Dial it all the way down, you will see LO instead of a temperature indication. You won't get heat.

But, with the AC on to remove humidity, I will get frozen-out because on "LO", the AC compressor is at full tilt. Here's the thing, if I use the AC for humidity-only, the car shouldn't run the heat and the AC at the same time, especially if it's 70-degrees F outside. Just because I turn it up 2 or 3 degrees doesn't mean the resistive heater should turn-on. I just want AC for humidity but turn the temp-up to keep AC at a minimum. I don't want to use the heater in the summer.

Maybe there should be an outside temperature threshold before the heat turns-on. Better yet, give me a heater on/off button and problem solved. "Auto" for the masses on/off for those who don't want AC and heat running at the same time.

- - - Updated - - -

Or how about this? The AC has Auto, On and Off. With the AC set to on, no heat. If in "auto", then let it heat as it does now automatically. That would be an easy way to override the auto heat because essentially, you're putting the AC in a strict on-mode. I actually tested that to see if it was the case....it wasn't.

Like I said originally, if on/off for heater is not an option, I'd like to have an indicator telling me that the heater is on so I can turn the temp down until it turns-off. So those who want everything auto, no harm/no foul. For those who care, we can know that we are wasting power with the heater.
 

ElSupreme

Model S 03182
Jan 13, 2012
4,303
104
Atlanta, GA
But, with the AC on to remove humidity, I will get frozen-out because on "LO", the AC compressor is at full tilt. Here's the thing, if I use the AC for humidity-only, the car shouldn't run the heat and the AC at the same time, especially if it's 70-degrees F outside. Just because I turn it up 2 or 3 degrees doesn't mean the resistive heater should turn-on. I just want AC for humidity but turn the temp-up to keep AC at a minimum. I don't want to use the heater in the summer.

Maybe there should be an outside temperature threshold before the heat turns-on. Better yet, give me a heater on/off button and problem solved. "Auto" for the masses on/off for those who don't want AC and heat running at the same time.

But the AC has to drop the temperature of the air to pull the humidity out. That is actually how the humidity control works. (Air conditioning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). So for it to remove humidity it has to cool the air. If you want ambient air you have to heat it back up. Which is why your heater kicks back on, so you don't get cold blasted.
 

gavine

Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast
Apr 1, 2014
2,610
2,171
Philadelphia, PA
I understand all of that but I would still like the option to be able to turn-off the heater if I want. I didn't want the heater to come-on the other day and I wouldn't have even known it was on had it not been for the smell.

Everyone's comments make sense and this is a good discussion but being able to turn it off at my discretion or at least being notified that it's on are good ideas I think. These "features/capabilities" won't hinder the system for those who don't care. It would be an option that needed to be manually forced or, if not an on/off option, the notification that it's on would give me the knowledge to turn the temp down a little to make it turn-off.

If I'm on a long trip and it's not cold enough for heat but I accidentally set the temp a little too high, it's going to eat-into my range and I should be forewarned about that so I can compensate.

I have to assume that most owners would adjust the temp down if a "heater-on" icon displayed, especially with the air conditioner on and 70-degrees F outside. I know I would rather turn down to 72 from 73 so as to avoid the heater penalty.
 

santana338

Member
Apr 11, 2012
341
47
Manchester, NH
I'm on gavine's side on this one. I don't have any idea when the cabin heater kicks in (or out) and I would like to know so I can make changes (like setting range mode or not) before I get too far into a trip and find out I have less range than I thought. It bothered me last winter a little but it was not a big deal then. I'm getting more used to the systems in the car now and I'd like to be more efficient this winter for better range/faster recharge.
 

ken830

Model S 85, Model 3 Performance
Jun 19, 2012
1,113
370
San Carlos, CA
Temp = LO, A/C = Off, Fan-Speed = Manual is the easiest way, and works really well.

If you leave the vent selection (face/feet) in Auto mode, the icon will tell you when the heater kicks on. A/C will be on when blowing at the face-only. Heater is on when blowing at the feet only. Both are on (I'm guessing) when both vents are selected.
 

gavine

Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast
Apr 1, 2014
2,610
2,171
Philadelphia, PA
I'm on gavine's side on this one. I don't have any idea when the cabin heater kicks in (or out) and I would like to know so I can make changes (like setting range mode or not) before I get too far into a trip and find out I have less range than I thought. It bothered me last winter a little but it was not a big deal then. I'm getting more used to the systems in the car now and I'd like to be more efficient this winter for better range/faster recharge.

Thanks santana. I guess we 40 and 60 owners care more about this than the 85 owners and rightly so.

- - - Updated - - -

Temp = LO, A/C = Off, Fan-Speed = Manual is the easiest way, and works really well..

That makes sense, but I needed the AC on to reduce humidity. Otherwise, this wouldn't have been an issue because I would have kept the temperature down. The only reason I turned it up a little was because the AC was making me too cold since it wasn't really hot outside and I had just turned it on so the AC compressor was going-strong. I was hoping the 3 degree increase would just lighten the compressor power instead of keeping that cranking and then pumping heat to balance it.

Plus, your idea is a hack way. Don't get me wrong, it's fine, but I still think there needs to be a way to override the auto stuff on the heat, just like you can on the AC and other settings. Why leave the heater out of that feature set?
 

ken830

Model S 85, Model 3 Performance
Jun 19, 2012
1,113
370
San Carlos, CA
That makes sense, but I needed the AC on to reduce humidity. Otherwise, this wouldn't have been an issue because I would have kept the temperature down. The only reason I turned it up a little was because the AC was making me too cold since it wasn't really hot outside and I had just turned it on so the AC compressor was going-strong. I was hoping the 3 degree increase would just lighten the compressor power instead of keeping that cranking and then pumping heat to balance it.

Plus, your idea is a hack way. Don't get me wrong, it's fine, but I still think there needs to be a way to override the auto stuff on the heat, just like you can on the AC and other settings. Why leave the heater out of that feature set?

For the humidity problem, just manually turn the A/C on and off as needed. This is no different than the traditional car with no automatic climate control. Think about a regular car -- if you don't want heat, you turn the red/blue dial all the way to blue. And the A/C is usually a toggle button. I don't see a difference. LO = heater off, just like any cheapo car.

I wanted a heat-off button before too, but that was over a year-and-a-half ago and now I just don't see the need anymore.
 

mmh

Member
May 11, 2014
122
0
SLC
I have to agree with gavine on this. Right now the outside temps are perfect. there's been several times I want to just have fresh air blown into the car and the car turns on the heater. I don't want heat.... I just want air. I don't want A/C. It's kind of silly that the A/C will turn itself on even if set to off to dehumidify the car, if I set it off, I WANT IT OFF.

For those of you saying "I don't want to think about it". Fine, set it to auto and don't think. But for the rest of us, we should be able to control our cars.

Hmm, I guess If it pisses you off enough I could put a physical switch inline with Fuse 20 in Box 1... There's an idea.
 

ElSupreme

Model S 03182
Jan 13, 2012
4,303
104
Atlanta, GA
I have to agree with gavine on this. Right now the outside temps are perfect. there's been several times I want to just have fresh air blown into the car and the car turns on the heater. I don't want heat.... I just want air. I don't want A/C. It's kind of silly that the A/C will turn itself on even if set to off to dehumidify the car, if I set it off, I WANT IT OFF.

For those of you saying "I don't want to think about it". Fine, set it to auto and don't think. But for the rest of us, we should be able to control our cars.

Hmm, I guess If it pisses you off enough I could put a physical switch inline with Fuse 20 in Box 1... There's an idea.

Uh ... there is an AC off button. I've been successful using it. Turn AC off, temp to max cold and monkey with the fan. Works fine. There isn't an equivalent 'heat off' button which was the gripe.
 

mmh

Member
May 11, 2014
122
0
SLC
Uh ... there is an AC off button. I've been successful using it. Turn AC off, temp to max cold and monkey with the fan. Works fine. There isn't an equivalent 'heat off' button which was the gripe.

The car will turn the A/C On even when set to off. I get the gripe with heat too, It's annoying the car doesn't obey me with any regards to climate control and just does whatever it wants.
See this thread: AC is ON even when selected to OFF?

 

scaesare

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2013
8,569
15,058
NoVA
I agree with the general idea of "honor my override of any auto settings".

Historically there has never been a separate on/off button for the heater because, unlike with the A/C compressor, there was no unit to "turn on"... the heat was simply a byproduct of the engine and you could blend warm air in to the system with the temp control.

Hence, to get outside fresh air you disabled the A/C, set the vents to non-recirc, and set the temp to low.

I'd be happy if the Tesla allowed the same. Having a discrete button for hieat would be OK too, but would be a bit redundant as long as the system honored the above manual configuration.
 

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