During the winter months, our office receives a lot of calls about whether or not it’s normal for their auxiliary heat or emergency heat to be on so often. In this article we will talk about the purpose of auxiliary heat as well as when it should and should not be on.

What is emergency or auxiliary heat?

Heat pumps are the most efficient way to heat and cool your home but they do require a supplemental heat source for when outdoor temperatures go below 40 degrees. Heat pumps use an electrical heat kit, referred to as a heat strip, to help the system keep your home warm. The heat strip also plays a role in the defrost cycle. Emergency heat can also be used for exactly what it sounds like…when your heat pump isn’t functioning properly, oftentimes you can still heat your home by using just the heat strips. The heat strips are more expensive to run but can be used to get you by until repairs can be made.

When should my auxiliary heat come on?

  • When outside temperatures drop below 40 degrees.
  • While undergoing the defrost cycle.
  • When there is a 3 degree difference or more in the current temperature in your home and the thermostat setting.
  • When the emergency heat is turned on via the thermostat.

How do I know if there is a problem?

  • Auxiliary heat runs continuously even if temperatures are above 40 degrees.
  • System is not maintaining the set temperature.
  • High electric bills.

If you feel that your heat pump is in need of attention or if you have any questions about the operations of your system, call our office and we will be happy to help answer any questions or schedule one of our trained service technicians to run a diagnosis on your HVAC system. Davis Heating & AC is committed to keeping your home comfortable and addressing any HVAC concerns you may have.