A heat pump requires a specific thermostat for heat pumps that has 2-stage heat and 1-stage cool capability built for the specific heat pump manufacturer. An ordinary electronic thermostat will not do the job.
The first stage of the heat thermostat calls for the compressor to provide the heat. The second stage calls for the electric resistance heat to provide additional heat when the compressor can no longer do the job alone. The emergency switch turns off the outdoor unit so the heat is provided by resistance heat only.
Do not worry about the heat pump running all the time in cold weather, it has to do that. From time to time you will hear a whoosh and see some fog come from the outdoor unit as the outdoor unit defrosts ice formations made from cooling the outdoor air to send the heat inside the house to you. Whether you put the switch to emergency heat or not, the electric resistance heat of the second stage will come on anyways. Let the unit run without switching to emergency heat. You can go away on trips, as long as the electricity is on, you will have heat.
Don't expect to feel really warm, the cool air of the heat pump in the winter may require you to wear sweaters. The heat pump creates an indoor wind chill as it saves you money. Some old folks have to turn the thermostat to 78 to feel warm. If the thermostat is really 7 degrees off, find a knowledgeable technician to set it properly. The installer should have told you all of this.
There are no houses built specifically for heat pumps. Well insulated houses can have any type of heat.
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