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How To Determine Whether Your Heat Pump Has Auxiliary Heat

How To Determine Whether Your Heat Pump Has Auxiliary Heat

Auxiliary heat is a requirement if you reside in a region with harsh winters. But how can you tell whether your heat pump has one installed already?

By observing your thermostat, you may determine whether your heat pump has auxiliary heat. You have a secondary heating system if there is a “AUX” or “EM” setting.

Learn more about this backup heat source, including how to identify one and how a heat pump functions. Determine whether a heat pump can function even in the absence of auxiliary heating, whether this system activates automatically, and whether auxiliary heating and emergency heating are the same.

Do You Have Additional Heat With Your Heat Pump?

The HVAC system includes a heat pump, which can transfer heat from the outside to the inside of your home and vice versa as needed to heat or cool your property.

In order to be able to pump warm air through the vents inside your home during chilly weather, it must be able to absorb some heat energy from the outside environment. The issue arises when it is below freezing and there isn’t enough heat energy in the outside air. It won’t be possible for the heat pump to function.

How To Determine Whether Your Heat Pump Has Auxiliary Heat

Auxiliary heat is utilized at that point. By definition, it serves as a secondary or backup heat source in the event that your heat pump is unable to perform. If your heat pump has one, it will automatically come on once the primary heat source can no longer maintain the appropriate inside temperature.

Heat Pumps That Has Or Doesn’t Have Auxiliary Heat

How To Determine Whether Your Heat Pump Has Auxiliary Heat

Electric strips inside the air handler side of the heat pump provide the supplemental heat. It makes use of power to create heat and warm your house.

It is not intended to serve as the primary heating system for the entire house, however, and when it is in use, it consumes a lot of electricity to keep your home warm.

The problem is that not all heat pumps have supplementary heating. Some areas with milder climates don’t require a backup heat source because their winters aren’t too chilly. Because of this, heat pump producers provide customers the choice of purchasing this appliance with or without a backup heat source.

Aside from the additional upfront cost, using the auxiliary heat will likely result in higher electric bills because it uses too much power to produce the necessary heat.

These are the major justifications for choosing a heat pump without supplemental heating.

Because of this, it makes sense that some individuals might worry whether or not the heat pump has a backup heating system, especially if they’re brand-new to the home and aren’t yet familiar with its HVAC system.

You can only determine if the heat pump has auxiliary heat by looking at the thermostat. The presence of a “AUX” or “EM” setting indicates the presence of a backup heat source in the appliance. When the temperature dips, the thermostat’s display will also display “AUX,” which denotes that it has automatically begun to supplement your heating needs.

Can A Heat Pump Operate Without Additional Heat?

When they learn that their heat pumps don’t have a backup heating system, several homeowners become concerned. They believe that if this component is missing, the heat pump won’t function properly.

Heat pumps can function effectively even without a backup heating system. Some heat pumps, especially for those who live in hot climes, have been purposefully built without an incorporated auxiliary heater.

The primary heating system in your home should not be auxiliary heat. In addition to being undercapacity, it is not energy-efficient, which can greatly increase your electric bill.

But there are several solutions available if you ever require a backup heating system. You can use wood in the fireplace or get a portable space heater. You may also get electric fireplaces, which will enhance the beauty of your décor. If you’re concerned about your energy cost, you may also have additional heating systems built in your house, and you can pick whether they’ll run on natural gas or oil.

How Do Heat Pumps Operate?

How To Determine Whether Your Heat Pump Has Auxiliary Heat

Let’s start by making it clear that heat pumps don’t produce heat. They essentially move heat from one location to another. They are energy-efficient due to this. However, its use is not restricted to heating. A heat pump can also be used to cool your house in the summer.

A heat pump uses outside heat or warm air to heat a house. The heat is then transferred through the refrigerant-filled coils in your HVAC system to the various vents throughout your house, raising the temperature inside.

Simply reverse the process to cool your house. It causes your house to become cooler by transferring the heat from within to outside. The refrigerant will now flow outside thanks to a reversing valve on the heat pump, which switches the refrigerant’s flow direction.

In accordance with the seasons, a heat pump can heat and cool your home, making it a flexible device. Particularly if you reside in an area with a mild climate, an HVAC system all by itself can replace the requirement for a furnace and air conditioning system. The best part is that it is energy-efficient, saving you money on your monthly electric costs.

Does A Heat Pump Adapt To Auxiliary Heat Automatically?

Yes, it should immediately convert to auxiliary heat when the heat pump can no longer effectively maintain the desired temperature owing to below-freezing weather outdoors. That’s the quick answer to this query.

When the inside temperature is 3 degrees below the specified thermostat setting and the outside temperature drops to roughly 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the majority of backup heating systems turn on.

It is clear from the circumstances that the primary heating system was unable to give the residents the cozy warmth they desired. This is due to the heat pump’s limited ability to extract heat from the outside, which makes the auxiliary heating system necessary.

When the outside temperature increases high enough for the heat pump to start operating once more, the auxiliary heat will also automatically shut off.

Auxiliary heat can also be manually activated by users by selecting the emergency heat setting on their thermostat. When the heat pump needs to be fixed because it is broken, this is done. When the heat pump freezes, this is another emergency situation that justifies its use.

Additionally, keep in mind to deactivate the backup heating system once the heat pump is back up and running to avoid consuming too much electricity.

Are Emergency Heat And Auxiliary Heat The Same?

Due to the widespread confusion over these two aspects, we frequently receive this inquiry as well. The backup heating system for your heat pump is referred to as both AUX heat and emergency heat.

When the heat pump can no longer provide the heating function, they will take over.
Their methods of activation are different. When the inside temperature is 3 degrees below the planned setting and the outside temperature falls to between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, auxiliary heat automatically turns on. When the temperature outdoors rises, it will also switch off automatically.

On the other hand, in order to activate this feature when necessary, you must switch on the emergency heat on your thermostat. It could happen if your heat pump is broken or frozen. In all situations, the problem requires an HVAC specialist to examine it. To utilize your heat pump as your primary heating system once it has been fixed, you must turn off the emergency heat.

Wrapping Up

To find out if your heat pump has auxiliary heat, go check the AUX or EM setting on your thermostat. You’d better hunt for other methods to backup your primary heating system if there isn’t one and you reside somewhere with a reputation for having harsh winters.

How To Determine Whether Your Heat Pump Has Auxiliary Heat

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Written by HVAC Contributor

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