Heat pumps are a great way to provide central heating and cooling for a home, especially in the climate we enjoy in Tampa Bay. A heat pump works as a powerful air conditioner during hot weather, the equal of any standalone AC system. When the short cold days arrive, a heat pump changes over to an energy-efficient heater that won’t drain the same amount of power as a furnace.
But when it comes to operating a heat pump, user error can still end up lowering system effectiveness. We’re going to look at a few things you shouldn’t do with a heat pump. These are even more important if you’ve only recently switched to heat pump use or added a ductless heat pump as part of your HVAC system.
Avoid using the “auto” mode
Like most HVAC systems, a heat pump has an “auto” mode setting. It’s tempting to think that this is the best for efficiency and convenience. It’s not. What’s more likely to happen is the heat pump will switch unnecessarily between heating and cooling modes based on small temperature fluctuations in the house, and this wastes energy. Instead, manually set the heat pump to “heat” during cold days and “cool” during warm days. (The “auto” mode for heating and cooling is different from the “auto-fan” mode, which only affects the blower fan.)
Don’t fiddle around too much with the temperature settings
Steady is best when it comes to energy efficiency for a heat pump. It achieves its peak efficiency through steady operation, so it’s best to find a comfortable setting for the season and leave the heat pump there day and night, without using different daytime and nighttime settings. You can lower the setting if you plan to be gone for a day or more.
Don’t keep your main heating system running at high
This applies if you have a ductless mini split heat pump that’s used for specific rooms, and have a ducted heating system (such as a central furnace) for the rest of the house. When you have the heat pump running in rooms that need it, you can lower the temperature setting for the central heater by 10°F. This essentially makes the central heater a back-up system for while you’re in parts of the house using a ductless mini split heat pump.
Don’t keep room units on the lowest fan setting
This is another pointer for a house with a ductless mini split heat pump. Each individual unit has changeable fan settings, and we recommend you don’t leave the fans at their lowest setting. Yes, it sounds like it will save energy, but the higher fan setting creates better, faster circulation of cooling or heating around the space—and that ends up saving more energy and helps to prevent hot and cold spots.
Don’t forget regular maintenance twice a year
You need to take special care when it comes to heat pump maintenance—it must be scheduled twice a year, once in spring and once in fall. We’re the New Port Richey, FL, HVAC contractor who’ll make sure your heat pump stays in the best possible shape with biannual maintenance.
Balanced Air, Inc. has served the Tampa Bay Area since 1988. Schedule an appointment with our team today.