7 Tips for Maximizing Heat Pump Performance in Winter

7 Tips for Maximizing Heat Pump Performance in WinterAre you wearing out your heat pump with a heavy-handed heat pump operation? Heat pumps operate differently in the winter than they do in warmer months. To make the most of your energy dollars and safeguard the lifespan of your system, it pays to take precautions when using your heat pump system in the winter months.

Why Does My Heat Pump Work Differently in the Winter?

Heat pumps don’t generate heat, they move it from one place to another, pulling heat from the outdoors for use in your home. Despite chilly temperatures, they can still manage to pull a bit of heat from the air. However, below freezing, they lose a bit of operational efficiency. Fortunately, you can ensure performance with mindful winter heat pump use.

7 Tips for Maximizing Heat Pump Performance in the Winter

  1. Stop cranking up the temperature.
    Pumping the temperature settings up to the 90s won’t heat your home any faster. It will, however, burn a lot more energy, particularly if your system is equipped with an auxiliary/emergency (electric) heat back up. Equipping your system with a smart home thermostat designed specifically for use with a heat pump system can help you ensure comfort and savings, turning your system off when you are not home, and helping you develop a schedule to ensure a cozy, warm home when you return.
    Learn more about the savings and comfort benefits of smart thermostats.
  2. Don’t rely on emergency heat.
    Save emergency heat for real emergencies. This mode is notoriously inefficient and will quickly drive up your energy bills.
  3. Keep your filter clean. 
    A dirty filter forces your system to move air. A clean filter safeguards the lifespan of your system, and more importantly, ensure good indoor air quality.
  4. Keep leaves and debris clear of your outdoor unit.
    Your outdoor unit must be free to circulate air as well. Regularly clear dead, fallen leaves and debris surrounding your system for optimum performance.
  5. Do NOT cover your system. 
    Your system is designed to survive outdoors and does not need to be covered in the winter. In fact, covering your system at this time can lead to serious problems, such as mold growth and pest infestation. In frigid weather, leave ice alone. It is sharp and dangerous to your and your system, and your heat pump should manage this in defrost mode.
  6. Don’t worry about the defrost mode.
    This mode scares some homeowners, however, defrosting frozen system components is part of normal winter operation. Be aware, though, this cycle is typically short, and if your system stays in this mode for a long time, it may require heating repair services.
  7. Follow a regular maintenance schedule.
    Regular professional cleaning and maintenance, at least once a year, ensures efficient performance and prevent unexpected breakdowns.

Winter heat pump questions? Talk to a pro at H & H Heating & Air Conditioning about the best way to operate your heat pump for your area climate, or schedule routine heat pump maintenance today.