Heating & Air Conditioning Tips

We'll help you better understand the heating and air conditioning needs for your home or workplace.

What Does The Em Setting On My Thermostat Mean?

What Does The Em Setting On My Thermostat Mean?
When a cold snap hits, you might finally notice that “Em Heat” setting on your thermostat. While it may be tempting to turn it on, just to see what happens, it’s important to note that “Em” stands for emergency. So, when is it appropriate to use emergency heat, and what does that even mean?

How does my heat pump work?

First of all, it’s important to understand how your heat pump works. It’s used to pull heat from the air outdoors in order to heat a home or office building. If the outside air temperature dips too low, the heat pump won’t have enough heat to draw from so it will automatically switch to its secondary heat source indoors, which can be electric, gas, oil, or hot water. Most heat pumps have an electric backup.

When should I use “emergency heat”?
If the temperature dips too low, your HVAC unit will automatically switch to the secondary heating unit in order to maintain the desired indoor temperatures. When you manually turn on emergency heat, it completely shuts off the primary heat pump and only uses this secondary, and much less efficient, heating source. Because it’s less efficient (using this setting can cost you twice what the primary heat pump costs in utility expenses), you only want to use the emergency heat setting when it’s actually an emergency. So, if a tree limb falls and damages your heat pump, or it malfunctions from normal use, you can turn on the emergency heat to keep your home warm while you arrange for repairs. This isn’t something to turn on because your toes are cold or you want to feel extra toasty, because the heat produced really isn’t different from what you’d get with your primary heating pump.

The best way to avoid using the emergency heat setting and keeping your HVAC running smoothly and efficiently is through regular maintenance by the HVAC experts at East Coast Heating and Air Conditioning in Port Orange, Florida. Contact us to see how we can help you avoid any unnecessary setbacks this winter.

Available 24/7

Call: 386-767-1163