Heating and Cooling for Your Home Buying a Heat Pump Thermostat with Emergency Heat

Heating and Cooling for Your Home: Buying a Heat Pump Thermostat with Emergency Heat

Heating and cooling anywhere in your home can be expensive, especially in the winter. If you live somewhere that gets cold during the year, purchasing a heat pump thermostat is an excellent way to ease energy usage while keeping warm. These devices can help reduce energy usage by monitoring the climates, temperatures and adjusting accordingly. They are also great if you have kids or pets, as they will switch to emergency heat if it gets too cold inside.

When it comes to heat pumps, homeowners have a few different options. Some options are more expensive than others, depending on your home and your personal preferences. If you’re looking for the best heat pump thermostat for your home, keep reading this article to learn about some of the benefits of an emergency heat version and other available options.

How Does the Heat Pump Function?

A heat pump is a device that uses a small amount of energy to move heat from one place to another. Heat pumps use air, water, or ground as a medium to pump out heat. They are commonly used to heat and cool your home, but you can also use them to dehumidify. During winter, they move heat from the outdoor air to your indoors, making your rooms warm. During summer, they move heat from your indoors to the outdoors, making your rooms cool.

The most common type of heat pump is the air-source heat pump, which moves heat between your house and the outside air. Heat pumps work like HVAC in reverse. An air-source heat pump cools your home in the summer by drawing heat out of the indoor air and transferring it to the outside air.

Air-source heat pumps are the most common type of heat pump, but ground-source heat pumps transfer heat between your house and the ground. Geothermal heat pumps, a variety of ground-source heat pumps, use the earth’s heat to heat and cool your home. Heat pumps are very efficient, but they are not perfect. In the winter, a heat pump will not work as well if the outside air temperature is freezing. The heat pump will still work, but it will not be as efficient as if the outside air temperature were warmer.

Heat pumps are more efficient than electric baseboards and electric furnaces. They don’t use resistance heating, and high-efficiency heat pumps can dehumidify better than air conditioners. The best thermostat for heat pumps is one with remote control.

Thermostat for Heat Pumps

A thermostat for heat pumps is a device that helps to regulate the temperature of a room or area by controlling the flow of heat. It is often used with an air conditioner, as the two devices work together to maintain a comfortable temperature. The thermostat controls the air conditioner and furnace by turning them on. You usually place it on the wall in a central location and can handle it manually or remotely.

What is Emergency Heat?

An emergency heat pump is a device that helps to keep a home or office warm during a power outage. It is a backup system that uses battery power to keep the heat pump running. The emergency heat pump will keep the space temperature warm until we restore power.

Many heat pumps function as their primary heat source and supplement it with an electric, oil, or gas heating system when extra heat is needed. When outside temperatures drop too low in colder areas, activate a heat pump as a secondary heat source. When you manually turn on your EM heat, you receive heat only from the secondary source. 

Your backup heater is now working alone instead of your primary heat pump, making it less efficient. You should only activate it in genuine emergencies unless you want to spend a lot on heating.

How Does Emergency Heat Work?

Emergency heat is a feature of heat pumps that kicks in when the temperature outside gets too cold for the heat pump to work effectively. The emergency heat uses a backup heating system, typically electric resistance heaters, to keep homes warm until the temperature outside rises and the heat pump can work again.

The two parts of a heat pump system are the heat pump and the secondary source of warmth. A secondary source of warmth is positioned inside the house, and the primary heat pump is outside. The secondary heat source is usually situated inside the house and utilized when temperatures are too low to extract heat from the outside. 

The heat pump has a schedule when it will turn off periodically to defrost the coils, activating the secondary heat source. It is not required for you to alter the EM heat setting on your thermostat. A light on the thermostat will signal when the heat pump has switched on.

Your EM heat is a backup system typically controlled automatically. However, you can turn it on manually. You instruct your heat pump to stop functioning and rely exclusively on this secondary heat source by turning it on.

When Should I Use Emergency Heat?

If your home has a heat pump, you may be wondering when you should use the emergency heat setting. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Your heat pump cannot pull heat from the atmosphere if the outdoor temperature is below freezing, and it must rely on an alternative heat source to keep your house warm.

2. Even if the temperature is just a little bit below freezing, your heat pump may still be able to scavenge some heat from the air, but your home will still require a backup heat source to keep it comfortable.

3. It is wise to switch to the emergency heat setting if you have been using the heat pump for a long time and the outdoor temperature is well below freezing.

4. If you are away from home for a long time and the temperature is below freezing, it is wise to switch to emergency heat to prevent your pipes from freezing.

5. You should contact a professional heating and cooling technician for assistance if you have any questions about your heat pump or emergency heating settings. They may also help and guide you with the installation and to know the important details and information on wiring to avoid any problems. 

Examples of Emergencies

There are many examples of emergencies when people can turn on the heat pump. One example is if the temperature outside drops suddenly and the heat pump cannot keep up with the demand, it will turn on to help warm the home. Another example is if the power goes out and the house cannot generate enough heat on its own, the heat pump will turn on to help. Lastly, if there is a gas leak or another type of emergency that requires the home to be evacuated, the heat pump will turn on to help keep the house warm until everyone can safely leave.

Switching your Thermostat to Emergency Heat can Lead to:

Changing your thermostat to emergency heat can lead to several problems, including increased energy costs, decreased comfort, and potential damage to your heating system.

High Energy Bills

Emergency heat can heighten your energy bills because it is often used when the outside temperature is freezing. Your heating system will have to work harder to keep your home warm, leading to higher energy bills.

Taxing Your System

If the emergency heat is turned on, your system is forced to work as if the primary heat source didn’t work at all, putting extreme stress on the backup device, which is only used in extreme situations for short periods. Your emergency heating system will turn on if the central system cannot maintain the temperature or if there is a problem with your heating system. You may also turn on your emergency heating system without airflow if your fan does not turn on. 

You should never turn on the emergency heat manually unless your heat pump has broken down. If your heating system needs to be examined, it should be done immediately. Please remember that you should not turn on the emergency heat unless your heat pump is no longer functioning, not just because it is cold.

Smart Thermostat Model With Emergency Heat

If your heat pump has emergency heat, it has a backup system to provide warmth if the pump fails. It is essential because it can keep you warm in case of a power outage or other emergency. There are a few different types of heat pumps with emergency heat, so be sure to choose the one that best suits your needs.

Nest 3rd Generation Smart Thermostat

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A Nest thermostat can save you up to 30% on your energy bill, making it an excellent choice for quality and those looking to reduce their energy consumption. In addition to energy savings, Nest also has many other features controlled by your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Honeywell RTH9585WF Heat Pump Smart Thermostat

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WiFi Heat Pump Thermostat with smart features such as WiFi/wireless control, touchscreen display, voice control via Amazon Alexa stores, and many other features, this WiFi heat pump thermostat is one of the most popular products. Nest and Ecobee product offers these features, but they do not come in a conventional box-shaped design that is not contemporary or appealing. Nest and Ecobee thermostats follow a contemporary, minimal design pattern across all of their models. Aux/Emergency heat is referred to as “backup heat” in Nest and Ecobee thermostats’ software. 

It is necessary to connect your heat pump’s Aux/E wires to the W2-Aux/E terminal on this thermostat. The backup heat mode will only appear if this wire is connected. A thermostat with two Aux wires (RTH9580WF) is used if your heat pump has a wire labeled Aux and E.

Sensi Smart Thermostat for Heat Pumps

This thermostat unit from Emerson Sensi touch screen thermostats is simple to set up because it utilizes your existing wires. Therefore, it doesn’t need a common wire(c-wire) to function with a variety of heating and cooling systems. Because it doesn’t require a common wire(c-wire), the Sensi ST75 WiFi thermostat is suitable for a variety of heat pump systems. With the help of your own home WiFi access, you can control your thermostat with your smartphone, tablet, or computer. 

With the Geofencing feature, your thermostat will automatically adjust the temperature to local weather patterns. It cannot be used with electric baseboard heaters. You can control your temperature and timing settings from your smartphone, tablet, or computer using the remote control feature. For the warranty, you have to ask their customer hotline or ask them before leaving the store when you buy one. 

Honeywell TH6320WF1005 

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This Honeywell Wi-Fi FocusPRO 6000 thermostat comes with a seven-day, programmable memory. A large, backlit screen with simple press buttons makes it easy to maneuver. During the setup process, you are guided through the procedure by means of a browser interface or smartphone interface. You can control settings without a Wi-Fi connection using this thermostat browser or smartphone interface, which guides you through the setup procedure. 

It has all the functions of a conventional programmable thermostat, in addition to allowing you to adjust the temperature settings using your iOS or Android device. This Wi-Fi thermostat sends you an email if you request it. It’s compatible with 3Heat/2Cool heat pumps and 2Heat/2Cool conventional systems as well as 2Heat/2Cool conventional systems and 3Heat/2Cool heat pumps.

Honeywell RET97E5D1005/U Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat

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The Honeywell thermostat is remote temperature control with a push-button interface. You can use your iOS or Android device to control multiple thermostats via Wi-Fi. With this thermostat, you can manage your temperature control using your smartphone or tablet. The smart response technology remembers to preheat or cool your home at preprogrammed times.

It comes preprogrammed with schedules designed to reduce your energy usage. This thermostat works with heating and cooling systems as well as heat pumps, but it doesn’t work with electric baseboard heat (120-240V). 

How Your Heat Pump Works with Emergency Heat

Heat pumps operate in two modes: normal and emergency heat. In normal mode, heat pumps draw in outside heat as the outside air becomes too cold. Your heating system will operate on secondary heat if your heat pump automatically switches to backup heat when the outside air temperature is mild. When manually activating EM heat, the system will bypass the primary pump and activate the backup heat source. 

EM heat is typically supplied by a backup gas furnace, an electric heating strip, oil, or hot water. You may need to pay higher EM electric rates if your EM system is electric.

The Cost of Running an EM Heat Pump

An emergency heat pump is a backup system that helps to maintain indoor temperatures in the event of a power outage. The cost to operate an emergency heat pump can vary depending on the size and type of system, but is typically much higher than the cost of running a standard heating system. In addition to the increased energy costs, emergency heat pumps also require regular maintenance and service in order to keep them running properly.


A heat pump thermostat with emergency heat is a great way to keep your home comfortable and save money on your heating bill. If you have a heat pump, you can use the emergency heat setting on your thermostat to keep your home warm during a power outage. This setting will use more energy than your heat pump normally would, but it will keep you and your family warm until the power comes back on.


Does a heat pump need a special thermostat?

The reversing valve needs to communicate with the thermostat on a heat pump when switching from heating to cooling, so you must use a special thermostat. Heat pumps combine outside air, electricity, and other resources to provide warmth. A heat pump thermostat typically includes a fifth wire dedicated to reversing valves.

How long can you use emergency heat on a heat pump?

In most cases, you can use emergency heat on a heat pump for a day or two without any problems. However, if you use it for more than a few days in a row, it can put a strain on the system and cause it to break down. If you need to use emergency heat for an extended period of time, it’s best to consult with a heating and cooling professional to see if your system can handle it.

What is the drawback of emergency heat?

There are a few drawbacks to using emergency heat. One is that it can be expensive to run since it typically uses more energy than the standard heating system. Additionally, it can take longer to heat up a home using emergency heat, so people may have to plan ahead if they know they’ll need it. Finally, emergency heat can be less comfortable than standard heat, as it can be drier and warmer.