As every young scout learns, it’s always a good idea to be prepared. When it comes to ensuring safety and comfort in your home, there’s a good chance that your heat pump has a backup plan, too. It’s called the emergency heat switch, and it’s an important feature to know.
What is emergency heat?
In some circumstances, such as extremely cold temperatures or damage to the HVAC unit, the heat pump will have difficulty drawing heat energy from the outside air to bring inside. When that happens, the heat pump can switch to a secondary stage heat source, which could be electric, natural gas, or hot-water backup system. This emergency heat (also called auxiliary heat) is intended to be used temporarily until the primary heating source can function or the equipment is fixed.
Pros and cons of emergency heat
In a perfect world, you would never need the emergency heat of your heat pump. Of course, we know life can be unpredictable, so this feature gives you peace of mind that your home will stay warm even in challenging circumstances.
Emergency heat is also easy to turn on. You should see a switch for “emergency” or “auxiliary” heat with most heat pumps. Just flip that switch and the system should turn to the secondary heat source. Just remember to flip the switch back off when you no longer need the emergency heat.
The downside to emergency heat is that it tends to use up more energy than the primary heat pump. So if you need to activate the emergency heat for any reason, you may see an increase in your next utility. Hopefully, you won’t need this function very long, so the extra cost should be minimal.
Heat pump repair and maintenance in Evansville, IN
We hope it’s comforting to know that your heat pump is prepared for anything. To make sure your heat pump is working correctly (including the emergency heat function), be sure to schedule regular maintenance and get a professional’s opinion if a problem arises.