Heat Pump Basics

Q: Why does air from a heat pump feel cold? 

A: Heat pump systems help save energy by using the heat available in the outside air to moderate the climate inside. Air produced by a heat pump does not have the same feel as the traditional furnace, as heat pump systems product dryer air. To help make your home feel more comfortable, try using a humidifier to put additional moisture into the air or a thermostat controlled electric heater to to raise the temperature in the small area.

Q: What is emergency heat and when do I use it? 

A: As the temperature outside ascends below the freezing point it becomes more difficult for the equipment to extract enough heat from the colder air to maintain desired temperature. As a result, you may hear the condenser outside laboring as it attempts to extract any warmth from the outside air. At this point the unit needs and auxiliary heat source to efficiently make up the temperature difference between the heat collected from the outside air and the set point on the thermostat. This auxiliary heat setting is called “Emergency Heat,” which is the operation of the electric heating element in your heat pump system. Once the temperature outside reaches sub-freezing, it is necessary to use emergency heat in order to adequately warm your home in an efficient manner.

Most thermostats will automatically switch on the “emergency” heating system when needed. Some thermostats will require the resident to manually switch to “emergency” heat. So once the temperature drops to freezing or below or your home feels cold, check the setting on your thermostat and adjust it accordingly. Keep in mind that you will need to switch it back as the weather changes. If you have questions regarding the thermostat controls, please call the office at (800) 378-9366.

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