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Will My Heat Pump Work In Cold Weather?

How Cold Is Too Cold For My Heat Pump?

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Heat Pumps are highly efficient units but they do come with some drawbacks when the weather gets really cold.

Heat Pump systems are highly efficient units but they do come with some drawbacks when it comes to cold temperatures.

Will My Heat Pump Work When It’s Cold Out?

This is a somewhat 2 part answer.

The short answer would be yes, it will heat your home in cold weather.

The tricky part is exactly how cold does it have to be before your heat pump just cant keep up?

Let’s take a look.

Heat Absorption

Your heat pump heats your home by absorbing the heat in the outside air and transferring this heat indoors.

It is basically working as an air conditioner in reverse through the use of refrigerant.

This is great during heating season when there is some heat in the air for it to transfer, but when temps drop below freezing, the efficiency of your heat pump begins to suffer.

This is why you have what is called “auxiliary heat” or “emergency heat” when you have a heat pump.

This emergency heat comes in the form of a furnace inside your home (electric or gas) and it takes over for your system when it just can’t keep up anymore.

Emergency Heat Source

When the temps outside begin to drop below freezing, your thermostat should automatically switch from your heat pump to your auxiliary heat due to the loss of efficiency in it heating your home.

Now, this can be customized to switch at a certain level, but most are smart enough to know when to switch over themselves.

Some people that refuse to switch to auxiliary heat will set their thermostats to run their heat pump until it just can’t heat anymore.

This can sometimes place undo stress on the system and result in needing a furnace repair to get it working again.

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