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Would It Benefit Me to Turn My Heat Pump off when It’s Cold Outside?

What to do when you don’t know what to do with your heating and air conditioning system.

Technician Speaking With Homeowner

Heating and air conditioning systems can be a bit of a mystery to the average homeowner, especially when it comes to heat pumps. One of the most common questions that comes up is whether or not to turn it off when it's unusually cold outside. Here’s what you need to know:

What Is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is a super energy efficient way to heat your home. It pulls in heat from the outside air or ground, depending on the system, via heat exchange.

What If It’s Cold Outside?

When the temperature drops to the extremes in the winter, people with heat pumps can often get conflicting information regarding the operation of their heat pumps. If it gets too cold, can your heat pump capture any warmth from outside to heat your home? The answer is no, and it can't. But that doesn't mean you can't keep your system running.

Should I Turn It off or Switch to Emergency Mode?

There are two settings for backup sources of heat, supplemental and emergency when you have a heat pump. These settings are integrated into the system for times when it's just too cold outside. You do not need to turn your system to "emergency" mode just because it's cold out. Emergency mode is for when the heat pump is damaged or not functioning at all. Supplemental backup is in place for when it's frigid outside.

The answer to the question whether or not to shut off your heat pump when it’s cold outside is a resounding no. Let the system do what it’s supposed to do, and it will provide heat to your home through supplemental sources.

For more information on heat pumps and to answer any of your heating and air conditioning questions, contact the experts at H.H. Hovey Heating and Cooling.

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