We get a lot of calls from our customers, here at Thermal Services, asking about the Emergency Heat setting that is showing up on their home’s thermostat. They are concerned about the word “Emergency,” and want to ensure that their home is ok?
The short answer is, “Yes,” your home is fine.
The Emergency Heat notification is a setting on thermostats that are connected to systems with a heat pump installed. Heat pumps are designed to heat your home down to a predetermined set point. Depending upon the area of the country you live in, that set point will vary. In the midwest, it is between 10-20° outside.
At this predetermined set point, the heat pump shuts down, and the back up heat source (either a gas/propane furnace, or an electric air handler, for example) begins to heat your home. At this time, the “Emergency Heat” notification is turned on at the thermostat. As you may already know, your home continues to be conditioned safely, until the outdoor temperature rises above the set point.
In an effort to keep it simple, the explanation above is refined to avoid the complexity that is actually involved with this process. There are actually several algorithms built into the present day thermostats that compensate for many factors when determining whether to switch your system to Emergency Heat.
What we are able to tell our customers, in an effort to put their minds at ease, is that this setting is there to show that their back up heat source is running. If it were up to me, this setting would be renamed, “Back-up Heat,” in an effort to minimize the worry.
Please do not hesitate to call Thermal Services at 402.397.8100 with any other questions you might have about your heat pump, furnace, air conditioner, or any other component of your home’s heating, cooling, or plumbing systems.