Since a heat pump depends on outdoor air in the winter to heat your home, doing what you can to boost the heat pump performance will help you trim those electrical bills. Some of the tips will also improve its summertime cooling performance and prolong its life. Because the local electric provider is phasing out discounts for all-electric homes, it's especially important now to take steps to make your home and heat pump more efficient.
- Keep it clean. One of the most important tasks you can do is check the air filter monthly and change it when it's dirty. Besides slowing the airflow through the air handler, excessive dust can cover the indoor coil, which retards the heating and cooling process. The outdoor condenser needs attention year-round as well. Keep the coils and fins in the outdoor unit clean, remove any snow that builds around it during the winter, and keep vegetation 18 inches away from it in the summer.
- Have it professionally maintained. Keep your heat pump performance high with regular professional servicing twice a year - once for the heating season and again for the cooling season. The HVAC technician will make adjustments, clean the components, check refrigerant levels and lubricate the motors. A heat pump works hard throughout the year to keep your home comfortable and a system that's neglected will lose efficiency faster.
- Seal your home's air leaks and evaluate attic insulation. A tight home holds conditioned air longer, and adequate attic insulation stops thermal losses all year. These are easy, affordable projects that take a burden off your heat pump.
- Install a smart recovery thermostat. These programmable thermostats are designed to work specifically with heat pumps and will cut your energy consumption in the winter. They prevent the emergency electric coil from turning on, which uses three times or more electricity than the pump itself for heating. Do not use regular set back thermostats with heat pumps- get one that is specifically made for this unique piece of equipment!!
- Replace an older system. As HVAC equipment ages, it becomes less efficient. An Energy Star system will cut electric bills year-round.
To learn more about improving heat pump performance, contact P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. We've provided HVAC services for greater Cleveland homeowners since 1936.