Difference Between Auxiliary Heat and Emergency Heat


Often we’re asked what the difference is between auxiliary heat and emergency heat, so Baggett Heating and Cooling explains the difference between the two.

As temperatures plunge during the wintertime, your heat pump may require either auxiliary heat or emergency heat to keep your house warm. Emergency heat has to be manually switched on and should only be used in temperatures below 30 degrees. In contrast, auxiliary heat turns on automatically to help heat your home more quickly if there is a sudden drop in temperature.

Auxiliary Heat

  • Auxiliary heat is automatically activated when there is not enough outdoor heat to warm up your home.
  • In this mode, the heat pump continues extracting as much heat energy as possible. However, it also adds heat from a secondary source to make up for the difference.
    • The secondary source is electric heating coils that are integrated within the system.
  • Once outdoor temperatures rise and secondary heat is no longer needed, the unit automatically turns off the auxiliary heat.

Emergency Heat

  • Emergency heat should only be turned on in emergency situations, just like the name implies.
  • Emergency heat is a mode that you manually select if your unit is not providing any heat for a reason such as malfunction.
    • Baggett recommends having regular maintenance performed on your HVAC system to prevent malfunction.
  • This mode acts as the secondary heat source to provide the required amount of heat.
  • Your unit will continue to operate in emergency mode until you manually switch it off.
  • An example of when emergency heat may be used is when your system has malfunctioned, and you’re waiting for Baggett to arrive to repair your unit; therefore, they recommend you switch on the emergency heat to keep your home warm.

To prevent any malfunction these winter months, call Baggett to learn more about regular maintenance and to join Baggett’s Preferred Customer Maintenance Club.

Baggett Heating & Cooling has been serving the Clarksville/Montgomery County area for over 40 years. Contact us by phone, text, or email.