Ever notice that red emergency heat setting on your thermostat? If you have an emergency heat setting on your thermostat, or if you are thinking of installing a new furnace and an emergency heat setting is an option, you should probably know what it is and what it’s for. A lot of people have heard of emergency heat, but few actually know what it is or when to use it. As HVAC contractors in Sioux Falls, SD, we have the answers you are looking for.
What is emergency heat?
The emergency heat setting, as the name implies, is for emergencies only. Your emergency heat is actually a backup or secondary heat source for your unit, usually an oil or electric source. This backup heat source is for when your unit needs some extra help, or if it’s not working properly. Your furnace is designed to work efficiently to heat your home, even when pulling cold air from outside, but in frigid temperatures it may automatically use this backup heat source. The other times your emergency heat will kick in is if your primary heat source has stopped working.
When should I use it?
The emergency heat setting on your thermostat allows you to bypass the automatic setting and turn on the emergency heat source yourself. Keep in mind that this option is for emergencies only. Turning on the emergency heat shuts down your primary heat source, so it’s not something you want to use just because you feel chilly. If your heat pump stops working—or if it’s running, but there’s no heat—it may be time to manually switch on the emergency heat. You should rarely ever need to do this, but if you find yourself in this situation, remember that the emergency heat is only a temporary solution. You’ll need to call to have the unit repaired as soon as possible so no permanent damage is done.
What happens when I turn it on?
When you turn on the emergency heat, a red indicator light will come on to let you know you are in emergency mode. Your primary heat source will shut down completely and your backup heat source (typically electric, oil or hot water) will kick in. The secondary heat source will continue to run until you fix the problem and turn off the emergency mode. The secondary heat source usually uses much more energy and can be costly to run for long periods of time, so you really should only use this setting for emergencies and call for repairs as soon as possible to avoid a high energy bill.
The emergency heat setting is a pretty nice feature to have, just in case, but it’s not a solve-all solution. For persistent problems with your furnace, be sure to call in the experts. As your local HVAC contractors in Sioux Falls, SD, the team at A & R Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. is always ready to help 24/7. Get in touch today if you’re having issues with your heat!