Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When do I use emergency heat?
The Emergency Heat switch on a Heat Pump thermostat confuses many people. The fact of the matter is that most people don’t seem to understand exactly what Emergency Heat is and when they need to use it. Many people think that Heat Pumps don’t work in cold weather and they are supposed to use the emergency heat whenever it gets really cold…
What is Emergency Heat?
Simply put, all Heat Pumps in northern climates [below 35 degrees] need a supplemental heating source. Usually, it is in the form of electric resistance heating. This is an all-electric Heat Pump. It can be a gas, oil, or hot-water back-up system as well. The supplemental heat is also referred to as “second-stage” or “back-up” heating, “first-stage” being the Heat Pump only. The supplemental heat is also what is used as the Emergency Heat.
Different systems have different ways of determining when the second-stage comes on to assist the heat pump but it is always done automatically. So the two stages will work together in the colder months and it is not necessary to switch your thermostat to Emergency Heat. Now we know what supplemental heat is and that it is also used for Emergency Heat.
So when do I actually use the Emergency Heat?
As the name implies, it is only used in emergency situations. It is used when there is something wrong with first-stage heating [the Heat Pump itself]. In other words, if you notice your house is cold and it isn’t heating properly and you went outside and noticed that a tree fell and crushed your heat pump, that would be a good time to switch to Emergency Heat. Or if you look at the picture below; this Heat Pump turned into a block of ice due to a malfunction. At this point, it isn’t capable of providing any heat. Simply turn the thermostat to Emergency Heat and call for service.
How often should my equipment be serviced?
Heating and AC (HVAC) systems should be serviced at least once per year. It is best to have the Heating tuned-up in the fall and AC in the spring before heavy use occurs. Oil-fired equipment should definitely be cleaned and serviced annually.
Why should I have my equipment serviced?
Annual servicing includes cleaning the system, checking for any problems or potential problems and adjusting for Peak efficiency.
The benefits include:
- Increased dependability
- Find potential problems and fix them quickly
- Provide maximum efficiency which lowers energy costs
- Prolongs the life-span of the equipment
- Maintains safe and healthy operation
- Can help to protect the environment
- Drastically reduces the chance of a break-down which usually happens at night or on weekends when repair rates are higher.
Service Plans also include extra benefits, including:
- Discounts on repairs
- Discounts on purchases and future replacement
- Priority Status for Scheduling
- Increased warranty duration
How often should I change my filters ?
Filters should generally be replaced every month when the system is running. Replace filters with the same kind and size as original filter. If your filter is not disposable, follow the manufacturer instructions for cleaning.