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My Honeywell thermostat T874R is showing the EM heat indicator light when I turned the AC on for the first time this season--Why? House is warm but not humid.

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  • Anonymous Mar 20, 2014

    Thermostat display showing-ac and furnace will not turn on

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2 Answers

The above was posted by fixr1st

Posted on May 29, 2008

The T874R thermostat should be a heat pump thermostat. EM means emergency heat which you obviously are not using. That means that you just need to determine if your heat strip is on while you air conditioner is working. If so you may need to replace your thermostat or you heating relay or sequencer.

Posted on May 29, 2008

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Sounds like your tstat could use some attention. The broken bar sounds like a low battery indicator. To verify wether the tstat is working correctly you can try bridging the R and W wires (after the thermostat) to set a call for heat. Be careful when you do this as you could short or blow your circuit board and other sensitive electrical parts. The R terminal is 24v power and when you bridge R and W you send 24v to the circuit board which indicates a call for heat. W is heat Y is cooling. If nothing happens still then you should call a technician as you may have broken parts and will require replacing.

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Turn off the circuit breaker to the AC and heating unit. The circuit breaker is inside the home electrical box. The door of your electrical box has a guide indicating which circuit breaker controls the cooling and heating system.Pull the cover off the Honeywell manual thermostat. If necessary, use a flat-head screwdriver to pry the cover away from the base of the thermostat. Locate the two small screws securing the sub-base to the base of the thermostat. The sub-base is the portion of the thermostat that has the indicator dial or indicator lever. Remove the screws with a Phillips-head screwdriver, and pull the sub-base away from the thermostat.Remove the screws securing the base of the thermostat to the wall with the Phillips-head screwdriver. Pull the thermostat base away from the wall so you can access the wires.Loosen the terminal screws securing the wires to the back of the thermostat with the flat-head screwdriver. Wrap the wires around a pencil or a large screw. This will prevent the wires from accidentally falling inside the wall cavity.

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How do I set my thermostat so that it doesn't keep going off and leaving me with no hot water .I have a Honeywell digital thermostat.


The problem is not your thermostat. It is the person who told you that your AC would be your sole source of hot water. The purpose of heat recovery is to ASSIST with hot water production and reduce the current used by your water heater. The only time your AC heats your water is when it is working to cool (or if it's a heat pump, cool and heat) your home. Turn your water heater back on and let your AC help keep the water hot. It's not supposed to do it alone.

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What's the difference between EM HEAT and AUX HEAT?


Sorry, neither of these answers are completely correct.
You have a heat pump (or the wrong thermostat). Let's assume you have a heat pump.

In air conditioning mode, it works like every air conditioner you have ever had, but...

In heat mode, it reverses its operation. Have you ever felt the air coming out of the outdoor unit of your A/C unit? It's hot, isn't it. And the air coming out of the indoor unit (out of the registers) is cold. Now for a heat pump to produce heat it simply runs the air conditioner in reverse and the heat comes out in the house and the cold is released outside. Neat, huh!

Here's the problem with heat pumps...when it is really cold outside the heat pump can't produce enough heat to heat your home. So it has an additional heat source called "Auxiliary Heat". This heat comes on automatically when the house doesn't get warm enough. The source of this heat is based on the region of the country you are in. North/Northeast generally have oil heat, other regions have gas, and still others have to use electricity to heat. In Texas, we usually use electricity as the supplementary heat on heat pumps. VERY EXPENSIVE!

Now the "Emergency Heat"...this is exactly as stated in Solution #2. This is manually turned on by YOU at the thermostat when your heat pump fails. This turns on the auxilliary heaters and turns off the heat pump (remember, the reverse air conditioner). Again, this can be quite expensive to run if your heat source uses electricity! Gas and oil may be cheaper. The emergency heat is only designed (normally) to keep the house livable (not comfortable) until the Heating Tech can get out to you and fix your heat pump.

Something else you should know. It is normal for a heat pump's outdoor coil to frost up during heating mode. It will detect this and go into DEFROST mode and melt the frost off the coil. While it is doing this, it will turn on the auxilliary heater to keep the air blowing in the house at a reasonable "warm" temperature, but it will not be as hot as normal. In fact, heat pumps produce a lower temperature heat than traditional heaters. So the air may feel cooler during heating than you are use to anyway. This is normal and is not a sign of a problem.

So what do you do: Set your thermostat to the temperature you want and set the controls for HEAT/COOL and FAN-AUTO/ON and leave the EMERG HEAT off unless your heat pump breaks.

As always, keep your filters clean and your outdoor unit's coils clean and free of debris.

Hope this explains your question for you!

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