Springfield Heat Pump Question: What is the Emergency Setting on My Heat Pump?

While installing or inspecting your Springfield heat pump, you may have noticed that little switch or button labeled something like “Emergency Mode.” And then, you probably scratched your head and thought, “what is that for?”

Hopefully, the emergency setting is not something you will ever have to use. But, it is there for a reason, so it’s possible you may have to resort to it at some point. In that case, it makes sense to know what it is first.

Springfield Heating Repair- Air Source Heat PumpYour emergency setting is what turns on when your Springfield heat pump starts malfunctioning. The compressor will turn off so the heat pump is no longer transferring heat from the outside into your home as it normally would. Instead, the internal heating element comes on to provide your home with minimal heat until the device is working again. However, since your heat pump is now using electric resistance heating to heat your home, it is using a lot more energy. This can be very expensive, so it is best to have your heat pump fixed as quickly as possible.

That’s what the emergency setting is, but when would you use it?

It’s not a trick question. As the name implies, you only want to use this setting in an emergency. For example, if the heat pump has frozen and isn’t operating, the best course of action is to switch on the emergency mode and call a Springfield heating and air conditioning professsional to repair it.

You would also want to use the emergency mode when recovering from a power outage. Any time a heat pump is without power for more than thirty minutes the refrigerant can cool and get too thick to properly flow through the coils. Turning the pump back on in this situation can damage it, so instead you would use the emergency mode for a while to warm the refrigerant back up, then return to operating the heat pump normally.

The emergency setting is not to be used in place of a supplemental heating system. If there is an uncharacteristic cold snap, and your heat pump can’t keep up, then it makes sense to use the emergency setting to keep the house warm. However, if you live in a colder northern climate, where temperatures routinely drop below 30 degrees in the winter, you should have a supplemental heating system in addition to the heat pump. Using the emergency heat setting regularly is not a good idea.

For more information about maintaining your home’s heat pump, give Cool It Heating & Air Conditioning a call today!

Photo by k_lishttp://www.flickr.com/photos/krzlis/6589545719/