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Question: Is it best to turn off heat pump and go to emergency heat when real cold out?

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Question:  I forgot to ask: I live near Buffalo (very cold winters) Somebody told me that it’s best to turn off the heat pump (and use emergency heat) during the winter Is this correct?
Thanks, Pat

Answer:  I always recommended to my customers if the temperature outside is 32 degrees or below for more than a day, then switch to emergency heat because all that you are doing is getting a vicious run cycle where the heat pump never shuts off. The heat pump thermostat goes back and forth between auxiliary heat and heat pump. The temperature is never satisfied in the heat pump cycle so you get into a constant run all the time mode. This is very hard on your outdoor heat pump unit and will shorten the life of your heat pump. This is one reason why most heat pumps only last about half as long as air conditioners because they run in both summer and winter. My suggestion is to only run in regular heat pump mode when the temperature is above 32 degrees outside. If the temperature outside is below 32 degrees for an extended period of time go into emergency/auxiliary heat.  This might run up your electric bill, but you will be warmer and it will save your heat pump from failing too soon.

Steve Arnold,
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