Three Key Points to Know about the Emergency Heat Setting on Heat Pumps

24 November 2015
 Categories: , Blog


When you are a new heat pump owner, or when you have a new heat pump installed, you may notice a setting called the emergency setting. This may also be labelled as simply ER on your thermostat switch. As a new heat pump owner you may not know what this setting means, how to use it, or if you should use it all. Before you simply overlook it, there are a few key points you should know.

What Emergency Heat Settings Do

The first key point to take into account is what the emergency heat setting actually does. This setting is designed to ensure you have heat, even if the system is damaged. It may only work overnight, for a few hours, or for a few days depending on your make and model of heat pump. This is something you will need to confirm with your contractor to ensure you are knowledgeable in the case of an emergency. The setting can be chosen on your thermostat and will operate just as an on or auto setting as far as how long it takes to work and how you can control it through the thermostat panel.

When You Should Use the Emergency Setting

The big question for many heat pump owners is when the emergency setting should be used. It is ideally supposed to only be used in an emergency situation when the pump is damaged and can't operate normally through the on or auto switches. It should also only be used when you need the heat during severe cold weather and until you can get a contractor to your location for repairs or replacement. This means, it should be avoided at any other time.

What To Expect When You Choose the Emergency Setting

The final key point to keep in mind about the emergency setting on your heat pump, is what to expect once you choose it. The main expectation deals with your power bill. The emergency setting is designed to work, but that does mean bypassing the normal operations of the system. This also means bypassing energy efficiency. Since the system is working in emergency mode, it is likely working at a higher level which means higher power expenses.

In addition to these three key points, you should also note the emergency setting location on your thermostat. This is to ensure that not only do you know where it is, you can ensure you are not accidently sliding into the setting when you turn your system on or off.


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