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    What’s the Difference Between Auxiliary and Emergency Heat?

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      What’s the Difference Between Auxiliary and Emergency Heat?

      Learning more about your home’s heating system is vital in ensuring its efficient operation, especially during the colder months. The terms “auxiliary heat” and “emergency heat”, which appear on thermostats, often stir confusion as to what each function means. Here’s what you need to know about them.

      What's the Difference Between Auxiliary and Emergency Heat?

      About the Auxiliary Heat

      Auxiliary heat, often abbreviated as “aux heat” on your thermostat, is a secondary heating source that supplements your main heat pump system. It activates automatically when your heat pump can’t sufficiently warm your home due to extremely low outdoor temperatures.

      The heat pump’s heating function works by extracting heat from the outdoor air. However, when outside temperatures drop too low, there isn’t enough heat in the outdoor air for the system to work efficiently. This is where auxiliary heat comes in. It helps by providing an additional source of heat (usually electric heating coils) to ensure your home reaches your desired temperature. Keep in mind that while auxiliary heat can result in higher energy consumption, it’s crucial for maintaining comfort during chilly days.

      About Emergency Heating

      On the other hand, emergency heat is a mode on your thermostat that you manually activate when your primary heating system (in this case, the heat pump) fails or needs bypassing due to malfunction. It’s essentially your heating system’s backup plan, relying on the secondary (usually electric) heat source full-time until the primary system is fixed. Utilizing emergency heat is generally more costly than running your heat pump under normal circumstances due to the inefficiency of the secondary heat source in comparison to the heat pump’s usual operation. Therefore, it’s advised to use this setting only in actual emergencies, such as when your heat pump is unable to function altogether until professional help arrives.

      When To Use Either Option

      The decision to use auxiliary heat or emergency heat depends on the situation. If you notice your home is not reaching the desired temperature during a cold snap, but your heat pump is still operational, the system may automatically switch to auxiliary heat to provide the necessary warmth. No manual intervention is needed. However, if you suspect your heat pump is malfunctioning or notice it’s not running when it should be, switching to emergency heat is the appropriate step while you contact a professional for repairs.

      To avoid unnecessary high energy bills, it’s important to schedule regular maintenance checks for your HVAC system. Expert technicians can ensure your system runs smoothly and efficiently, inspecting both the heat pump and your auxiliary/emergency heat capabilities to avoid unwanted surprises during the winter months.

      Whether your current system has an issue that needs fixing or you’re planning to invest in a replacement, don’t hesitate to reach out to professionals at Superior Air who are well-versed in handling your home’s HVAC needs. We are dedicated to ensuring your comfort through quality service—be it repair, maintenance, or installation. Give us a call at (559) 734-2002, or visit our contact page to schedule an appointment.

      We invite you to schedule an appointment with Us at Superior Air for Quality HVAC Service, highlighting energy savings and improved indoor air quality for you and your family. Whether your needs are for a new heating or cooling system, or an appointment to address an operational concern, please contact us at either convenient online option below, we would be happy to be of service to you.

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        • Superior Air
        • 8244 W. Hillsdale Ct. #11, Visalia, CA 93291
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