When the temperature drops, your heat pump may require either auxiliary or emergency heat to keep your house warm. Despite being labeled differently, they’re essentially the same. But to give you a better understanding of both heating functions, here your trusted HVAC experts over at Superior Air break down what each setting actually does.
For the most part, people typically use their heat pumps as their primary source of heat. However, these systems do have their limits. A heat pump can effectively warm up your interior space as long as the temperature outside remains at or above 45 degrees. When the temperature drops lower than this, the outside coil will freeze up, which will prompt your unit to go into defrost mode.
While in defrost mode, the outdoor unit signals the air handler to turn on the auxiliary heater, which is an electric heater similar to a toaster oven. Once the defrost cycle is complete, the auxiliary heater turns off automatically and the system continues in heating mode.
As the name suggests, emergency heat is for times when you have to force your heat pump into electric heating mode if the unit suddenly stops working or isn’t doing an adequate job of heating up your house. It acts as a backup heat source while your heat pump is in defrost mode or in the event of a system failure.
During a maintenance appointment, most HVAC contractors will actually purposely put your unit in defrost mode to make sure that the emergency heating function is working.
Superior Air is one of the most trusted HVAC companies serving homeowners in and around Visalia, California. Our NATE-certified technicians can be counted on to help you solve all your heating and cooling needs. Give us a call at (559) 734-2002 or fill out our contact form to schedule your free consultation today. We proudly serve Tulare, CA, and the surrounding communities.