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Chilly temperatures cause a strain on heat pump systems

By Jamie Hicks
Published On: Jan 07 2014 06:14:23 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 07 2014 06:25:37 PM CST

In Eastern North Carolina we're not use to the frigid temperatures we’ve been experiencing, and neither are our heat pumps.

NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY -

In Eastern North Carolina we're not use to the frigid temperatures we’ve been experiencing, and neither are our heat pumps. 

The temperatures also have businesses like Trent Heating and Air Conditioning in New Bern working around the clock.

"Systems that are put in today are designed to provide inside air temperatures of 70 degrees with the minimum of 27 degrees outside,” Manager Sam Ramsey said.

But when temperatures are much lower, Ramsey said some people may think a setting labeled “emergency heat” is a better option, but experts warn to stay away.

 "No customer should ever switch to emergency heat. It's exactly that only when an emergency," he said.

Ramsey said the system should switch to this setting on its own when needed.

“If you go to check your outside unit and the fan is not running and the unit is not operating, that's the only time you should have to manually turn the emergency heat strips on,” he explained.

Ramsey said the cheaper option is to always call a professional.

“When you hit the button the outside unit will cut off, and it will heat solely on these heat strips themselves. This will cause your energy bill to sky rocket,” he said.

Experts said be sure to check your air filters to make sure they are clean for air to flow through. Also, have your system tested twice a year in the spring and the fall to make sure everything is working properly.

Ramsey said with cold temperatures like this it's more cost efficient to heat your home with a natural gas system.

According to the North Carolina heating and air code, Ramsey said systems installed after March 2013 should have an outdoor thermostat or sensor to monitor any major changes.