A heat pump can be an efficient alternative to a traditional heating and cooling system if you live in an area with only modest heating and cooling needs. Heat pumps work by exchanging hot air for cold air, so they can be used to heat or to cool a home. The common air-source pump can save up to 40 percent off your electric bill, so the savings can be huge. The following tips can help you get the most of your heat pump system.
Tip #1: Manage the Temperature Wisely
Heat pumps aren't furnaces or air conditioners, so it is hard on them to constantly be fiddling with the thermostat. Pick a temperature, set it, and stick with it. If you are constantly changing the thermostat, perhaps by setting it higher than necessary in an attempt to warm the house more quickly, you can strain the system. Heat pumps perform best when they are working to maintain a consistent temperature.
Tip #2: Avoid the Deep Freeze
Winter can be tough on your heat pump if you live in an area with ice or snow. Keep the exterior of the unit clean and clear by knocking snow off gently with a broom. If there is ice buildup, remove it by pouring warm water over the unit. Don't try to chip it off. Sometimes you may notice ice on the coil in the indoor portion of the unit or perhaps an increase in the condensation on interior windows. In this case, the unit is freezing up. Try setting the thermostat a few degrees higher to prevent this from occurring.
Tip #3: Give It a Lift
The exterior heat pump unit needs plenty of space to ensure uninterrupted air flow. This isn't an issue if your pump is mounted on the roof, but ground based units can become clogged with snow, fallen leaves, or overgrown grass. Have the unit lifted onto a short platform to avoid this issue, and then keep the area around the pump free of debris.
Tip #4: Perform Regular Maintenance
Heat pumps need regular maintenance, just like any HVAC unit. Change out the air filters once monthly. Depending on the filter type, you may need to replace them, or you might be able to rinse them clean and use them again. Outdoor coils and housings will require annual cleaning. Simply turn off the unit and hose out any debris with your garden hose. The indoor drip pan will also require emptying at least once a year. You may want to bring in a repair technician to perform annual service. Not only can they do the above tasks, they can also make sure everything is greased and moving smoothly, replace any worn seals, and perform a full inspection so any potential issues are caught and repaired early.
For more advice, speak with professionals like Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Inc.