Pop quiz: what’s the difference between the AUX HEAT and EM HEAT settings on your thermostat? If you can’t pass this quiz, you’re probably using your heat pump wrong this winter. Andersen Heating & Cooling has some tips for understanding and using your thermostat in Charlotte.
Heat pump basics in Charlotte, NC
Your heat pump works by transferring heat either inside or outside of your home. This allows it to work like an air conditioner in the summer and a furnace in the winter. Heat pumps provide extremely efficient heat in the winter, but when outdoor temperatures are freezing, there’s no heat to move indoors. So, the heat pump will rely on a backup heat source, often electrical strip heat.
Set thermostat to AUX HEAT
AUX HEAT, or auxiliary heat, is your go-to setting on the thermostat this winter. In AUX HEAT mode, the heat pump will automatically activate the supplemental strip heat when temperatures dip into the 20s or below. And when it starts to warm back up, the heat pump will switch to its standard function, bringing that heat into the home. AUX HEAT takes the guess work out of using your heat pump.
EM HEAT is for emergencies only
Many homeowners in the Charlotte area get confused by the EM HEAT setting. Why is it there? Well, in the instance that your heat pump malfunctions or shuts down completely, you’ll need that backup heat source to keep your home warm. That’s why EM HEAT, or emergency heat, is a manual setting. However, as soon as the heat pump turns back on or is repaired, you’ll want to set the thermostat to AUX HEAT. Strip heat is far less efficient than your heat pump and will run up your energy bill the longer you use it. In conclusion, play it safe, and don’t use EM HEAT until there’s an actual emergency.
For all your thermostat troubleshooting needs, call Andersen Heating & Cooling today!