How Do Auxiliary and Emergency Heat Settings Work?

Winter is just a few months away, but as a homeowner, it pays to be well-prepared when outdoor temperatures drop significantly. If you have a heat pump, it will trigger either auxiliary heat or emergency heat to warm your home. Our trusted Carrier® heater repair team at Kemnitz Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. discusses what each one means.

Auxiliary Heat

This thermostat setting usually activates as soon as it detects the outside temperatures fall at around 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. When outdoor temperatures dip below freezing, your heat pump won’t pull enough heat efficiently. With auxiliary heat, the heat strips in your indoor unit are activated and serve as your unit’s secondary heat source.

Emergency Heat

While similar to auxiliary heat, this setting is manually switched on and off. You’ll only need to use this if your outdoor unit can’t pull any heat and the auxiliary heat doesn’t kick in. If you resort to switching the emergency heat on, it may be due to a faulty component or a malfunctioning system. Either way, you’ll need to get your unit checked by a heating repair professional as soon as possible. This is because this type of setting makes the heat strips source all of the heat to your home while the rest of your heat pump is disabled.

The Best Settings for Your Thermostat

Auxiliary heat should always kick in when outdoor temperatures drop too low for your heat pump to function. Even if the unit no longer extracts enough heat, it can still help maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. This also helps minimize demand from its secondary heating strips or electric heating coils.

On the other hand, if you manually activate emergency heat, the main heating function won’t be used at all. Your system will rely on its secondary heating strips or electric heating coils instead, which consume much more energy. When this happens, you end up with higher monthly utility bills.

If you’re looking for a professional with experience in heating and air conditioning repairs, there’s only one name you can rely on. Call Kemnitz Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. today at (949) 453-8500 to schedule an appointment! You can also fill out our contact form to get started. We serve residential and commercial clients in Irvine and the surrounding communities.

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