Aux Heat On Thermostat: What It Means

Aux Heat On Thermostat: What It Means

Did you ever notice the sign of “aux heat” on your thermostat? This thermostat setting of heat pump just means auxiliary heat is being used.

What does auxiliary heat mean? Your heat pump will defer to “aux heat” on its own when the temperature is too cold outside for the unit to warm your home to the desired temperature. While you don’t want this setting to be on all the time, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to call an HVAC expert in Doylestown, PA, and shell out a bunch of money.

So, let’s find out what does aux heat mean on thermostat, how does it work, and also some essential tips from HVAC technicians in Doylestown for the best thermostat setting in winter and optimal use of aux heat. 

What is Aux Heat?

Aux heat is a feature on thermostats that allows you to control an additional heating source in your house. It’s useful for days when it’s too cold to use the main heating system, like on a really cold day when the furnace is already running. Aux heat can be used with electric baseboards or radiant floor heaters.

Aux heat can be activated manually or automatically by your thermostat. If it’s activated manually, you can set up a schedule for when it should turn on and off so that it only turns on when needed. If it’s activated automatically, then the thermostat will turn on aux heat when the temperature drops below a certain temperature threshold (usually between 40-55 degrees Fahrenheit).

The aux heat on the thermostat is turned off by default but can be turned on by setting the temperature above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. To turn off the aux heat setting, simply set the temperature below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Why Aux Heating is Important?

If you live in a cold climate and have a home with an auxiliary heating system, you already know how important it is to make sure that your system is working properly. If you don’t, you might want to consider taking the time to read this.

Here we’ve compiled a list of six reasons why auxiliary heating is important for homeowners in Doylestown:

Supplemental Heating

Auxiliary heating is a great way to supplement your home’s HVAC system during the fall and winter months. In most homes, heat loss is greatest through the walls, windows, and doors. All of these areas are also areas that are hard to seal up properly. So if you want to keep drafts out of your home, auxiliary heating can help you do that.

Temperature Regulation

In addition to supplementing your home’s HVAC system, auxiliary heating can also be used for temperature regulation. For instance, if you have a room in your house that tends to get too warm or too cold, then an auxiliary heater may be able to help regulate the temperature in this particular room so that it doesn’t get too hot or too cold at any given time throughout the year (depending on where you live).

Enhanced Comfort

Auxiliary heating is important to keeping your home comfortable throughout the year. It can be used to supplement your primary heat source, which means you will always have a warm and cozy home. You won’t have to worry about turning up your thermostat or using more fuel if you don’t want to.

Emergency Heating

If you ever find yourself without heat during an emergency situation, auxiliary heating can provide a backup source of warmth for you and your family. It doesn’t take up much space in your home, so it’s easy to install and use when necessary!

Energy Savings

In addition to providing comfort and convenience for homeowners, auxiliary heating also saves energy by reducing the amount of energy required by other sources like natural gas, propane furnaces, or electric heaters.

Climate Control

Aux Heat is particularly useful in regions with extreme weather conditions, where temperature variations can be substantial. It ensures the indoor climate remains comfortable and stable, regardless of the outdoor temperature.

How Does the Aux Heat Work?

Auxiliary heat is used in homes to help make the temperature more comfortable. The main function of this auxiliary heat is to provide comfort and make it easier for you to keep the temperature at the right level. So, you might wonder, “How does this aux heat on thermostat work?” 

Don’t worry. Here’s an overview of how Aux Heat works:

Triggering Conditions

The thermostat is programmed to activate Aux Heat under specific conditions. These conditions can include a significant temperature difference between the set point and the actual temperature or when the primary heating system is unable to reach the desired temperature within a certain timeframe.

Thermostat Signal

When the thermostat detects the need for additional heating, it sends a signal to the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system to activate the Aux Heat.

Activation of Aux Heat

Upon receiving the signal, the HVAC system engages the auxiliary heat source, which can be electric resistance heating elements, a heat pump in heating mode, or a gas furnace, depending on the specific setup of the heating system.

Supplemental Heating

Once activated, the Aux Heat source generates heat and releases it into the airflow of the HVAC system. This supplemental heat is then distributed throughout the building or specific zones to maintain the desired temperature.

Temperature Regulation

As the auxiliary heat operates, the thermostat continuously monitors the temperature and adjusts the activation and deactivation of the Aux Heat source to keep the temperature within the desired range. The thermostat acts as a control mechanism to prevent excessive heating and maintain a comfortable indoor environment.

Deactivation of Aux Heat

When the desired temperature is reached, or when the primary heating system becomes capable of maintaining the desired temperature on its own, the thermostat signals the HVAC system to deactivate the Aux Heat. This helps prevent unnecessary energy consumption and maintain energy efficiency.

Difference Between Auxiliary Heat vs. Emergency Heat

If you’re looking for a way to keep your home warm during the cold season, several options are available: auxiliary heat, emergency heat, and even no heat. 

With a comparison table like the one below, you can compare the benefits of auxiliary heat vs. emergency heat and determine which is right for your needs.

Auxiliary HeatEmergency Heat
DefinitionThe secondary heating source supplements the primary heating system.A backup heating source is used in emergency situations when the primary heating system fails.
PurposeProvides additional heating power to supplement the primary heating system when needed.Acts as a temporary solution to maintain indoor temperature when the primary heating system is not operational.
ActivationActivated automatically by the thermostat under certain conditions, such as a significant temperature difference or when the primary heating system is unable to meet the set point within a specified timeframe.Activated manually by the user when the primary heating system malfunctions or breaks down.
Heat SourceCan be electric resistance heating elements, a heat pump in heating mode, or a gas furnace, depending on the specific setup of the heating system.Typically electric resistance heating elements or a backup heating source, such as a gas furnace or a heat pump set to operate solely in heating mode.
Energy ConsumptionConsumes more energy compared to the primary heating system but is designed to be used sparingly and only when necessary.It can consume a significant amount of energy as it operates independently of the primary heating system and is generally used for temporary or emergencies.
Duration of UseTypically used for short periods of time to supplement the primary heating system and achieve the desired temperature.Used until the primary heating system is repaired or replaced. It is not intended for prolonged use due to its higher energy consumption.
Automatic ControlControlled by the thermostat, which activates and deactivates it based on temperature differentials and set point requirements.Manually controlled by the user, typically by switching the thermostat to “Emergency Heat” mode.
Usage ConsiderationsUsed in situations where the primary heating system is insufficient or during extremely cold weather conditions.Used as a temporary measure until the primary heating system can be repaired or replaced. Should not be used as a long-term solution due to energy efficiency concerns.

What To Do If The Auxiliary Heat Turns On?

When the auxiliary heat on your thermostat turns on, it’s probably because the temperature in your home has dropped below your thermostat’s set point.

So, you might be confused. “Why does my thermostat say aux heat?” What should I do?

Don’t panic. Here are some steps you can take if the auxiliary heat turns on:

Check the Thermostat

Verify that the thermostat is set to the desired temperature and heating mode. Ensure that it is functioning correctly and that the temperature settings are appropriate for the current conditions.

Assess the Temperature Differential

If the auxiliary heat frequently turns on, it may be due to a significant temperature difference between the set point and the actual temperature. Consider adjusting the set point to a more reasonable level to avoid excessive use of auxiliary heat.

Inspect the Primary Heating System

Check the primary heating system to ensure it is operational. Make sure there are no visible signs of malfunction, such as error codes or unusual noises. If there are any issues, contact a local HVAC technician for inspection and repairs.

Verify Airflow and Vents

Ensure that there are no obstructions blocking the airflow from the heating system. Check that all vents are open and unobstructed, allowing for proper distribution of heated air throughout the space.

Assess Insulation and Air Leaks

Insufficient insulation or air leaks in the building can cause the heat loss and cause the auxiliary heat to turn on more frequently. Consider improving insulation and addressing any air leaks to enhance the heating system’s efficiency.

Consult a Professional

If you have gone through these initial troubleshooting steps and the auxiliary heat continues to activate excessively, or if you suspect a problem with your heating system, it is advisable to seek assistance from a professional HVAC technician in Doylestown. They can perform a comprehensive inspection, diagnose any issues, and provide appropriate solutions.

How Do I Set My Thermostat to React in Cold Temperatures?

It’s wintertime, and you’re not sure how to set your thermostat. It’s okay—we’ve got you covered.

We’ll walk you through the ten easy steps for setting your thermostat to react in cold temperatures:

Determine the Desired Temperature.

Decide on the desired temperature that provides comfort while considering energy efficiency. The recommended temperature during the winter is typically around 68°F (20°C), but you can adjust it based on personal preferences and household needs.

Choose a Heating Mode.

There are three heating modes to choose from: Heat Pump, Heat Only, and Auxiliary Heat (Heat Pump). The first two modes can be used during all seasons. Auxiliary Heat is only used in cold temperatures when your heat pump isn’t working as efficiently as it should be (i.e., outside temperatures are below 40°F).

Set the Target Temperature.

Your thermostat can be programmed to lower your home’s temperature by a specific number of degrees when it gets below a certain point so that you don’t need to turn it down manually. Most programmable thermostats have a feature called “hold” or “holdover,” which allows you to set the temperature at a higher level while the system is off and then return to its normal setting once it is turned on again.

Consider Programmable Thermostats.

If you want your home’s temperature to adjust based on weather conditions or your schedule automatically, consider using a programmable thermostat—it’s an easy way to maintain comfortable temperatures without constantly monitoring them!

Activate Your HVAC System’s Adaptive Or Smart Features.

These features will allow your system to automatically adjust its temperature when the outside temperature drops below a certain threshold, which can help you save money on energy costs!

Use Temperature Hold And Override Features. 

This will allow you to select specific temperatures that the system will maintain during extreme cold or extreme heat periods. You can also use these features to override your HVAC system’s automatic adjustments during periods when you need more or less heat in your home.

Monitor And Adjust As Needed! 

As temperatures fluctuate throughout the year, ensure your thermostat maintains its desired temperature range (you may need to adjust settings).

Consider Geofencing.

Geofencing is a feature that allows your thermostat to turn on when it detects motion within a certain radius of your home’s location. It can also be used to turn off when no motion is detected within the specified range. If you’re away from home during work hours, geofencing can help save even more money on utilities by turning off your heater or air conditioner if nobody is using it at that time of day anyway!

Optimize Insulation and Weatherization.

If your home isn’t insulated well enough, it will be harder for your heating system to keep it warm in colder months. Make sure that all of the windows and doors are sealed properly so that heat doesn’t escape from them. Check with a professional if you need help with this step!

Consult the User Manual.

Before you start setting up any new features on your thermostat, always consult the user manual first! It’s important that you know how everything works so that nothing goes wrong later on down the road. If something does go wrong (which is unlikely), then at least you’ll know what went wrong and how to fix it—and hopefully how not to do it again!

Let HVAC Professionals Help You Maximize Your Heat Pump’s Efficiency!

Do you have a heat pump that’s not working efficiently as well as it should be? You’re not alone. In fact, many homeowners in Doylestown are frustrated with the high cost of heating their homes and the time it takes for their heat pump to reach optimal efficiency.

But there is hope! CDO Heating and Air Inc. has been helping homeowners maximize their heat pump’s efficiency and Aux Heating in Doylestown for over 25 years. We offer full-service HVAC services, including:

– Tune-ups

– Winterization

– Repairs

– Installation

– Maintenance

– And many more…

Our team of HVAC professionals will come out to your home in Doylestown and the surrounding area and perform a comprehensive inspection of your system—then give you recommendations on how to make it more efficient. We’ll even fix any problems that we find!

The fact is: no matter how well-maintained or new your unit is, there are always ways to improve its performance. Our team knows how important it is for families like yours to stay comfortable during all seasons—and we know how important it is for them not to waste money on energy bills! 

So let us help you get the most out of your investment. Call us today at (267) 481-7787 to schedule an appointment with our HVAC professionals!

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