What Is The Emergency Heat Switch On My Thermostat? | Airco

Posted on: Nov 01, 2016

With winter on fast approach, it’s time for maintenance on your heater. Have you changed the filter in the past two months? Have you checked all the ins and outs of the system to refresh your memory and see if you need extra heating services in Oklahoma City?

Emergency Heat Switch

You may be a little confused about the switch on the thermostat for your heat pump. Some folks believe it is necessary to turn on the emergency heat switch to use the heat pump, but that’s not the case. For the climate of Oklahoma City, the emergency heat switch is not normally used during winter.

When the outside temperature drops below 35°F, heat pumps need a little boost, and it’s usually found with electric resistance heating, often referred to as the backup. The two stages, the heat pump and the backup, work together automatically, and only when the temperature plummets. The emergency heat switch is used only when the heat pump is not functioning, as when it is fully iced up.

At least once a week, to avoid extra heating service, walk outside to the unit and perform a visual check. Look for icing and any debris resting against it, such as leaf litter. In some cases, pumps have been so badly covered that the whole unit had to be replaced. Visual checks should be made after each wind or thunderstorm to avoid such occurrences in your home.

Engaging the emergency heat switch will always be more expensive if the auxiliary heat is electric, because unlike the heat pump, it is generating heat, not transferring it. Therefore, it is worth your while to ensure it is running properly and free of debris and ice.

Thermostat Red Light Engaged / Flashing

You should check your thermostat often. When the light on it is lit, or if it is flashing, it indicates a problem with the system. You might need extra heating services in Oklahoma City, if the problem is not clear after a quick inspection. Using the backup as primary will increase your electric bill.

Auxiliary heat automatically engages only when the temperatures plummet below 35°F. The emergency heat switch is to be used only when the primary system is failing. If you see a red light illuminated or flashing on the thermostat, give us a call. We are here to help.