When it comes to keeping your home comfortable during the winter months in Wilmington, a heat source is necessary. Many questions can arise when heating your home. One of those questions include what is auxiliary heat? When you look at your thermostat sometimes on a cold day you’ll see AUX lit up or Emergency Heat. These both indicate your system is running using the auxiliary heat source. To learn what auxiliary heat is, as well as the benefits and cons continue reading this article.
What is Auxiliary Heat?
Auxiliary heat to sum it up is a secondary heat source. It is also referred to as the “emergency heat.” A heat pump, while it is great for our climate in North Carolina, becomes less efficient as the outdoor temperature drops. Once the temperature drops below the point that the heat pump can handle it then calls for the auxiliary heat to assist. A standard electric heat pump’s alternative heating source is electric heat strips. In a duel-fuel heat pump system, the secondary heat source is gas. Auxiliary heat is a great way to keep your home toasty. However, heat strips are more expensive to use than the conventional heat provided by your heat pump.
How to Avoid Auxiliary Heat
If you don’t mind paying extra to heat your home, continue letting the heat strips run; keeping you cozy all winter. If you’re trying to save, limiting the use of your auxiliary heat will help. To accomplish this, set your indoor temperature lower. If it is 35⁰ outside don’t expect your indoor temperature to be 78⁰ without using the heat strips. If you can tolerate your home to be cooler, lower your indoor temperature to reduce the use of auxiliary heat.
Another way to help lower your heating costs. If you have the option, install another heat source such as a gas furnace. While furnaces in the south are not necessary like in colder regions; if you know you don’t like a cold home during winter it is an alternative to the heat pump’s electric heat strips. While a gas furnace is not as efficient as the heat pump, it is more efficient compared to a heat pump using heat strips.
There are systems available called duel-fuel systems. These include both a heat pump and a gas furnace in one system. In this case, the gas furnace would act as the auxiliary heat. It will switch on when the heat pump was no longer efficient. For more information on these systems visit Trane’s website or contact our office.
Auxiliary heat is a great way to heat your home in the winter. Although it will cost a bit more. If your heat pump is running continuously using the heat strips during mild temperatures, be sure to call O’Brien Service Company. This is a sign there may be an issue with your heating system, and you could need a heating system repair. If you have any questions about running your system on auxiliary heat please don’t hesitate to call our office. Stay warm this winter!