Have you ever seen the words “aux heat” on your digital thermostat and wondered what exactly it means? This is when the outside is around 35-40 degrees and the indoor temperature is around three degrees cooler than the thermostat setting. If the walls of your home are too cold and your heat pump is not powerful enough, AUX heat may be needed in order to make up the degrees. The light comes on during normal operation as part of your unit's need to defrost the outer portion of the unit. Emergency Heat – This is when you turn on the secondary heat source. Basically, auxiliary heat uses electric resistance heating to heat your home. How to minimize the use of auxiliary heat with a heat-pump on your ecobee thermostat Question: We have a heat pump and recently installed an ecobee thermostat. Your aux heat works in tandem with your secondary heat source and your home’s heat pump. If your aux heat indicator is on, it means your heat pump needs a little help reaching its target temperature setting. It’s important for homeowners to fully understand what the term auxiliary means. In an emergency, it’s convenient to have a secondary source of electricity. Turning your thermostat to “heat” came with an unexpected “AUX” function appearing. However, when the outside temperature is 32° F or below, your auxiliary heat will usually turn on automatically. Auxiliary heat is greatly helpful even when the heat pump malfunctions. You don’t have to connect your Nest thermostat to your Wi-Fi network. The AUX Heat indicator lets you know that the more expensive type of radiant heat has been engaged on your heat pump. It may be more effective, but it comes with a specific cost that you might not be anticipating. Emergency heat is when you turn on a secondary heat source manually. Like just stated, when your auxiliary heat function is running, it’s going to use up much more energy than your heat pump. Considering a generator? Typically, your heat pump will energize the auxiliary heat strip inside your secondary heating source to help reach its set temperature more quickly. The difference between auxiliary heat and emergency heat is simply the name. Auxiliary heat is used when the balance point can no longer efficiently transfer heat from the outside air (usually about 35 degrees Fahrenheit). To start, the job of a heat pump is to take air from the outside your house, warm it and then blow it throughout the different parts of your home. This will take the heat from your home and use it to melt the ice. So, what is auxiliary heat on a thermostat? AUX heat can also start if the pump can’t handle the outside heat on cold winter nights. Emergency Heat, also known as “auxiliary heat”, is the second stage of heat that your thermostat runs on when the temperature is too cold for your heat pump to extract heat from the outside. © 2021 Dwyer Franchising, LLC All rights reserved. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Every degree above 68 degrees can boost your electrical bill by a whopping 4%. So, you’ll want to make sure you bundle up before you begin defrosting the ice off your unit. In other words, when the heat pump by itself is unable to meet the heating requirements, auxiliary heat automatically turns on. Both forms of heat are the exact same heat … However, by turning your thermostat up slowly, you can avoid this. Only turn your heat up two degrees at a time to avoid using aux heat. To do this, some heat pumps will rely on the use of heat strips. It does this by only jumping in when the heat pump can’t handle things on its own. Here are some tips to helping prevent the use of the auxiliary heat function. So it relies on an auxiliary (AUX) heat coil (like the ones you see in a toaster) or a furnace to heat your home. Although having the auxiliary heat function is useful, you’re going to prevent the use of it as much as possible. Your health and safety are our highest priority during this time. This happens sometimes when it’s colder than average and on the verge of extreme temperature drop like Nashville experienced this last spring. The auxiliary heat is an important function of your A/C system. Typically, your heat pump will energize the auxiliary heat strip inside your secondary heating source to help reach its set temperature more quickly. In fact, many people get auxiliary heat confused with emergency heat when they are actually quite different. During this time both your Auxiliary heat … When my heat pump turns on the temperature drops about 4 degrees before it starts to warm up. If a heat pump is having a difficult time coming up to a certain temperature quickly due to extremely cold outdoor temperatures, the “aux heat” indicator means that a secondary heat source (generally gas or electric) has been deployed. Sometimes mistaken for emergency heat, aux heat is a heat pump thermostat setting. By understanding this term, homeowners will not only have a better idea of how their system works, they’ll also have more control over the inside temperature of their home. To find out for sure, just get in touch with Aspire Heating & Cooling. Press Esc to cancel. Well, aux heat might just save the day. Although heat pumps are commonly used in houses around the country, many homeowners don’t fully understand what auxiliary heat is. Auxiliary heat/ Emergency heat helps the heat pump keep up when cold outside or the temperature differential on the thermostat is large. This means your aux heat will run a lot more, costing you more money. Aux Heat Vs. Since electric resistance heating is much less efficient than your heat pump, you only want it to be on when necessary. If the task is too much for the heat pump’s normal function, it may rely on the heat strips as an auxiliary heating source. Emergency Heat: Are They The Same Thing? Auxiliary heat is the electric heat strip in your air handler that is supplemental heat. Turning on emergency heat means you’re relying completely on the secondary heat source, which is a lot more expensive than running aux heat. Aux Ht or Auxiliary heat is the backup heat that turns on to help the compressor for first stage maintain your temperature setting. Aux heat will turn off once your home reaches the thermostat set point. If the source of heat is the gas furnace, the heat pump turns off and if the source is electric heat then it works along with the heat pump. Short for auxiliary heat, this system is designed to heat your home up quickly instead of waiting for the cold heat pump on the exterior of your home. Make sure that you only use the emergency heat feature as temporary solution and not a long-term solution. Unfortunately, using the auxiliary heat is significantly more expensive than using your heat pump. Auxiliary Heat. You know if the auxiliary heat is running when you see "Aux Heat On" in the thermostat's display. My Honeywell Thermostat is Not Turning On. Therefore, the heat strips turn and supply any extra heat that’s needed. What does it mean? Emergency heat is the same thing as auxiliary heat. Although it will cost a bit more. Auxiliary heat is a regular function of a heat pump. This is because heat pumps must work extra hard to get your home up to its set temperature (and to maintain that temperature). In this situation, it’s recommended that you call a professional right away. Auxiliary heat is a great way to heat your home in the winter. Reach the Goldilocks Zone of “just right” with help from Aire Serv®. Auxiliary heat means your heat pump is using electric resistance heating because outside temperatures are below 35°. Auxiliary heating refers to a secondary heating source for various heat pumps or machines that are used during winter time. When you go to turn up the thermostat, make sure that you only turn it up 2 degrees at a time. It allows your unit to keep you comfortable in the most cost-effective way. A lot of people don’t really understand the difference between auxiliary heat and emergency heat. Under normal conditions, heat pumps will run … Auxiliary heat is a component of heat pump systems. This heat setting should only kick on when the heat pump can’t produce enough heat to warm your home or if your heat pump goes into defrost mode. This is much less efficient than using your heat pump. AUX heat mode is normal when: The temperature outside is below freezing Auxiliary heat is a backup heating system. Learn More About Aire Serv Indoor Air Quality Services, Learn about installing a generator at your home. 4) Auxiliary heat is malfunctioning Below 40 degrees, your heat pump struggles to heat your home. If you think your heat pump is broken, it’s best to get it fixed as soon as possible. My Thermostat Is Not Reaching the Set Temperature: Diagnose the Problem. This occurs when the weather drops into the mid-30s Fahrenheit – and definitely when it is below freezing. Is it too cold? Important Notes on Nest Thermostats. If you’re wondering what the auxiliary heat feature on your thermostat means, it’s basically a supplement heat source. Otherwise, your auxiliary heat is working when it shouldn’t be and driving up the cost of your heating bill. Auxiliary Heat – This is the secondary heat source that turns on automatically. When ice accumulates on the outside of your water heater, you will need to unfreeze it. My Honeywell Thermostat Says Wait: What to do Next? Like mentioned above, the auxiliary heat will turn on when the temperature outside of your home drops below 32° F. Your heat pump does this, because it detects that the inability to effectively move the heat from the outside to the inside of your home. Both air exchange and geothermal heat pumps aren’t as efficient during extremely cold weather. Learn about installing a generator at your homeLink opens in a new tab with help from our friends at Mr. Electric®Link opens in a new tab. Make sure that in the coldest months of the year you know how to use your heat pump thermostat in the most efficient way possible. Many people wonder about aux heat vs. emergency heat: Are they the same thing, or are there differences between the two? If your heat pump is running continuously using the heat strips during mild temperatures, be sure to call O’Brien Service Company. If you’ve been on vacation, you’ve probably kept the inside temperature of your home much cooler than normal. Heat pumps are the main source of heat most of the time, but they aren't efficient when it's very cold outside. The heat in this case is provided by an alternate source such as the gas furnace or electric heat. “Aux” is short for auxiliary heat. We know you have questions, so below we’ll go into more detail about: Like Aire Serv, Mr. ElectricLink opens in a new tab is a member of the Neighborly®Link opens in a new tabfamily of home service brands. However, when you keep the inside temperature of your home at a lower degree, your heat pump won’t have to work so hard and the chances of having to use the heat strips will decrease by a lot. Aux heat comes from the same heat source as emergency heat, but aux heat works together with your heat pump, so it’s less expensive than emergency heat. Therefore, if it’s below 40 outside and the auxiliary heat isn’t working, then your heat pump will just blow lukewarm or cool air. The difference is quite simple. If you turn it up quickly, your heat pump will do whatever is necessary to get your home up to that temperature as fast as it can. A thermostat senses this and automatically turns on electric heat strips to provide the additional heat needed. This will save you money in the long run. Now I keep on getting alerts that the Aux heat is running. Heat pump systems have two units - one outside the home and one inside the home. First “Auxiliary Heat”, “Strip Heat”, “Emergency Heat”, “Radiant Heat” are all used to reference the same heating mechanism; your electric heat strips that come with a heat pump. When your heat pump breaks down, or it just isn’t working the way it’s designed to, a homeowner can switch to emergency heat. Michael Joseph has more than 20 years of hands-on experience as an avid home handyman and had 10 years in the construction industry, specifically in the field of HVAC. This means, when the temperatures start to drop and your heat pump cannot produce enough hot air to warm your home the aux heat will turn on. During freezing weather, the outdoor heat pump will be too cold to quickly heat your home, which is when the auxiliary heating system would kick on. Aux heat provides extra heat alongside the heat pump when the pump can’t draw enough heat from the air outside. However, when the outside temperature is 32° F or below, your auxiliary heat will usually turn on … Bringing your house up to temperature slowly will ensure that your heat pump is able to draw the necessary heat from the outside air instead of using the heat strips. It should not cause you any worry or concern. The best way to do this is to turn the switch to the defrost mode on your water heater. It’s Cold! Read on to learn how “aux heat” differs from “emergency heat” and more about this oft seen, but lesser known heat pump feature. It starts working when there is a sudden temperature drop of more than two degrees. No-frills heat pump systems without the auxiliary heat capability sometimes make that feature an add-later option. The aux heat indicator on your thermostat lets you know when this is happening. The electric strips that come with your heat pump are engaged when the outside temperature is extremely cold. Your thermostat determines when the auxiliary heat gets energized. The Auxiliary heat gets automatically turned on by your HVAC system to supplement the heat pump output when your system can’t keep up. Because consumers have many more auxiliary heat options to work with for augmenting heat pumps, this allows them to experience a winter or two in a milder climate zone without the feature before committing to the extra investment, whichever one it may be. There are two main reasons as to why this may happen. Call a professional if your thermostat indicates aux heat is running even after outside temperatures reach 40 degrees or higher. Auxiliary heat on the other hand uses heat strips together with the heat pump to supplement the loss of heat. Aux heat comes from the same heat source as emergency heat, but aux heat works together with your heat pump, so it’s less expensive than emergency heat. However, if you still find yourself shivering in your home, something is almost certainly wrong with your system. Call (855) 679-0011 or request an appointment online to get started. Auxiliary heat kicks on when your heat pump can’t produce enough heat to warm your home by itself. Basically, if your heat pump is struggling to maintain its goal temperature, your aux heat will turn on and give your heat pump a boost. Emergency Heat is typically triggered when it is 35°F and below outside. If the temperature outside begins to warm up, and you notice that your auxiliary heat is still on, you’ll know that there is a problem. The “aux” means auxiliary as the heat strips are designed to be a second stage of heat Demand The second most common time that the heat strips will come on is when there is a “demand” for them. Type above and press Enter to search. As a result, this inefficiency will lead to more expensive electricity bills. Tap to Call (303) 436-2525 Plumbline Services & COVID-19 Tips for using your heat pump thermostat in winter: Is your home too hot? When the temperature inside your home drops a certain amount below the goal temperature (usually 1.5-2 degrees), your thermostat energizes auxiliary heat. If your auxiliary is staying on, you may need to get it checked out. This is a sign there may be an issue with your heating system, and you could need a heating system repair. The “ AUX Heat ” mode is usually an indicator that it’s freezing outside, and your is heat pump is using a secondary backup heat source – your auxiliary heat—to keep your home at your set temperature. This is another reason why the auxiliary heat maybe going on. To start, the job of a heat pump is to take air from the outside your house, warm it and then blow it throughout the different parts of your home. The way auxiliary heat works is by using electric resistance to heat your home. Click here for our precautionary measures. The short answer is that auxiliary heat and emergency heat refer to the same thing, and are somewhat interchangeable. Auxiliary (AUX) heat is a second source of heat that comes with some heat pump systems. Do NOT turn on the emergency heat setting unless it’s really an emergency (for example, your heat pump broke). Auxiliary Heat Your auxiliary heat, as just described, supplements your heat pump’s heat when it needs it. This will completely sidestep the heat pump and rely completely on the heat strips. If you’re wondering what the auxiliary heat feature on your thermostat means, it’s basically a supplement heat source. Auxiliary heat is when the secondary heat source turns on automatically. During those cold winter months, it’s best if you keep your home at 68 degrees. Why is this? I guess the only difference is that AUX is an ‘indicator’ on your thermostat that you are running the heat strips when the switch is set to HEAT. Aire Serv is fully equipped to install and service all types of heat pumps along with all their components. First off, AUX heat refers to your heat pump’s auxiliary (backup) heat source. On the other hand, your emergency heat takes over, or replaces, your heat pump’s heat. Your system can use AUX heat to help keep you comfortable in harsh weather or to help change the temperature in your home quickly. Basically, if your heat pump is struggling to maintain its goal temperature, your aux heat will turn on … Auxiliary heat is a heating system that works when the temperature inside a home or building drops lower than two or three degrees from what the temperature is set. Auixiliary Heat will turn on automatically when heat can no longer efficiently transfer heat from the outside air to heat pump. It’s important to note that this method will result in cold air coming out of all your vents. In many situations, it’s a combination of both. Other auxiliary heat sources such as a fireplace can wreak havoc with a heat pump operation especially if the fireplace is in a line of sight to the thermostat. Or when someone decides they are cold, and turns the thermostat up more than three degrees. AUX heat refers to your heat pump’s “backup” electric resistance heating. The unit outside your home is a heat pump and the unit inside the home is the auxiliary heating system. Auxiliary heat (aux heat) is an additional heating component to a central heating system using an air-source heat pump.

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