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Why You Should Never Use Emergency Heat (unless you absolutely have to)

Heat Pump outside unit
The outdoor unit of a Heat Pump System is filled with components like a compressor, condensing coil and valves to heat or cool your home efficiently.

Before you touch that Emergency Heat setting on your thermostat, read this! The Emergency Heat or Auxiliary Heat setting is the second stage of your heating system that is used when the temperature is too low for the heat pump to be able to remove heat from outside, typically below 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Your heating system can then use the alternate source to supplement the heat, but if you force the system into the Emergency Heat mode then it becomes the sole source of energy, rather than its intended function.

Switching your Thermostat to Emergency Heat can Lead to:

High energy bills

The cost of running your home on Emergency Heat would be astronomical. Turning to this setting switches the source of your heat from the heat pump to the electric heat strip, which is significantly less efficient and more costly. 

Taxing your system

Turning on emergency heat forces your system to bypass the heat pump altogether and work as though the main heat source is not working at all. This puts a great strain on the backup element that is only meant to be used in extreme circumstances for short periods of time.

When working properly, your heating system will utilize your Emergency Heat when the primary system is unable to handle controlling the temperature on its own or there is a problem with your heating system. If your fan doesn’t turn on either set your thermostat so the system doesn’t stay on. Emergency heat without air movement can cause damage do your outdoor unit. You should never turn on the Emergency Heat manually, unless your heat pump has failed completely. If that is the case, you should have your heating unit examined and repaired immediately. If you do need to turn on the Emergency Heat, please contact Wentzel’s and allow us to address the underlying issue. Remember, do not switch to Emergency Heat just because it is cold, only do so if your heat pump is no longer heating your home at all.

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