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Q & A: At what temperature should I switch my heat pump over to emergency heat?

Question by ned r: At what temperature should I switch my heat pump over to emergency heat?
I have an electric heat pump with backup electric heat. Its 17 degrees out and I wonder if the emergency heat would be more efficient. The heat pump is keeping up at this point but is running constantly,

Best answer:

Answer by DOLOMITE360
19 degrees I would say.

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4 Responses to Q & A: At what temperature should I switch my heat pump over to emergency heat?

  1. D2

    at 17o degrees i cant imagine your getting a lot of heat from the heat pump,you should have done that at 37oF. heat pumps effectively stop working at that temp.

  2. Thor

    I would guess the majority of heating is being done by the back up at any time you are below freezing. I would certainly switch it and cut off the heat pump.

    Not only does it not produce much heat for the energy used below freezing but it also uses a mess of energy running through the defrost cycles when temperature are that cold. That heat just goes to the outside. Below freezing it is cheaper to cut it off and run straight electric I believe.

    But I admit in my area with more moderate temperatures I have less experience with heat pumps in below freezing weather. I know you start to lose a lot of efficiency below 45 degrees and more the cooler it is.

  3. B-Notable

    If your heat pump system is wired correctly you shouldn’t have to switch to emergency heat. Your thermostat should bring on the electric backup heat automatically and will cycle on and off while your heat pump will continue to run providing as much heat as it can. While it is true that when it’s below freezing outside heat pumps can’t normally keep up with heating needs, they still provide heat into the house to the extent that they can and are still more efficient than running electric backup heat alone which is what happens when you switch to emergency heat.

  4. Sam I Am

    I also have a heat pump and my electric heat or “emergency heat” kicks in automatically. I don’t think that manually turning on the emergency heat will be any more efficient as far as power consumption since the heat strips conusme much more energy thant the heat pump.

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