Air-source heat pumps have two different heating modes, so the unit can provide different levels of warmth depending on conditions. The emergency heat function allows your HVAC system to run even if certain components have iced over or failed. It should only be used in extreme situations.

The Difference Between Heat Settings

In Florida, heat pumps usually gather warmth from the air using minimal amounts of electricity. The air that comes out of your vents isn’t hot like it would be with a furnace.

When the outdoor temperature is below 35 degrees or when you want to warm your house quickly, the system uses an electric resistance heating coil. This auxiliary system uses significant amounts of electricity, but all of the energy is converted to heat.

Your thermostat should have one or two indicators that tell you when the system is operating normally, using the auxiliary heat strip or using emergency heat. If you have a multistage thermostat, it can tell your HVAC unit to warm your home gradually, which will minimize the use of the heat strip.

Thermostat Settings

  • In mild weather, your air-source heat pump uses ambient warmth to heat your home.
  • On cold days, the backup heat strip provides additional heating capacity.
  • If you adjust the thermostat to increase the temperature in your home quickly, the system will use the auxiliary heat system.
  • If a component has failed or if there’s a problem with your equipment, the emergency heat setting will use the auxiliary heat strip exclusively.

To achieve maximum efficiency and minimize the use of auxiliary components, keep your thermostat at a constant temperature. Never use the emergency heat setting unless there is a problem with your equipment. If your heat pump isn’t functioning properly, have a professional troubleshoot your system. To learn more about heat pumps and preventive maintenance services provided by All Seasons Service Network, call our office in Pensacola at 850-637-8479.