Having a heat pump is one of the best options for fending off its occasional cold spells. A heat pump delivers you an air conditioner and a heater in one unit. People in colder northern climates usually need to have a hybrid system work with their heat pump so they can get enough warmth during the deep chills; but for our Florida climates, a heat pump on its own can handle the job—in particular if it comes with the auxiliary heating option.
You might be curious about what auxiliary heat on a heat pump does and if it’s worth having. Basically, the auxiliary heat function provides additional warmth when the heat from the standard heat exchange is insufficient. These heat pumps have an extra section that contains electrical heating coils—similar to what you would find in an electric furnace—to create resistance electrical heating. When the heat pump senses it cannot get enough warmth from the outside air to move inside your home (usually at temperatures below 35°F), it will switch over to the electrical coils to provide the additional heat. Although this will allow the heat pump to reach its target temperature, it will drain additional power to heat the electrical coils.
Whether you need a heat pump with the auxiliary heat feature depends on how much cold you think you’ll experience. Heat pumps draw warmth from outside to give you a comfortable temperature, but this becomes difficult in extreme colds.