Nearly every modern-day home thermostat system features an emergency heating option. If you’ve ever used it, though, you probably didn’t notice a difference between it and your regular heating. So, just what exactly is the emergency heating option on a thermostat? Here we’ll take a closer look at this function and reveal whether or not you should be using it to heat your home during the cold winter months.
Overview of Emergency Heat
Essentially, the emergency heating option found on thermostats uses a heat pump to pull outside air into the home. You may be aware that the traditional heating method in HVAC systems uses an electric furnace to heat the air traveling through the ducts and into your home. If this goes out, you can switch the emergency heat on at the thermostat to pull the outside air in. As you can expect, this air typically isn’t as warm as the air produced by your home’s furnace.
Although the air produced by the emergency heat setting on your thermostat isn’t as warm as air produced by the furnace, it can help warm up a home in certain situations. Many people believe that the heat pump just sucks in air from the outside and brings it into your home. While this is somewhat true, heat pumps is colder climates feature a back-up method for heating the outside air. For instance, the heating pump on an Alaska home wouldn’t work to well if it was pulling in sub-freezing air into the home, so a backup electric heater is used to warm the air first.
When To Use Emergency Heat
As the name suggests, this type of heating should only be used in emergency situations when your regular heat pump is broken or not working properly. Although using it for extended lengths of time shouldn’t cause any damage to the system, most professional HVAC technicians recommend that you only use it in emergency situations. If you notice that your regular heating and air isn’t working the way it should, you can switch to emergency heating to provide enough warmth for you and your family until you get it fixed.
It’s important to check your system frequently to ensure the emergency heating works as it should. Lets hope you never find yourself in a situation where your heating stops working completely, but if it does, it’s nice to know there’s a backup option to provide comfort for you and your family.