Get the most out of your heat pump

A heat pump can lower your heating costs considerably and double as a cooling system in the summer. As with any new piece of equipment, your heat pump works best when properly used. Check out our tips on getting the most out of your heat pump.

1. Set and forget!

Settings are the key to great heat pump performance. Avoid turning heat pump units “on” and “off” to control temperature. A heat pump reaches peak efficiency by maintaining a set temperature.

Once you find your ideal setting, set and forget.

If you have other heating systems to use as backup, use them only when needed. In an area where you are using your heat pump, turn your old system down or off. You don’t want your heat pump competing with your other heat source.

Once you have found the comfort level that is right for you, the savings will last for years to come.

Modern heat pumps should have very little need for service, unless something stops working properly. Indicator lights or display icons on the controller or indoor unit itself may indicate fault conditions – check the owner’s manual to interpret displays. 

2. Use the highest fan setting

A heat pump works most efficiently when set to a higher fan speed. But as always, set to a level you are most comfortable with. The best way to benefit from the heat pump is to use it for as much heating as it can handle.

Try to keep doors open to rooms allowing the heat pump’s heat to circulate as much as possible. Open the doors and turn up the fan.

Use the “heat” or “cool” setting on the thermostat or control rather than the “auto”. It is natural to think “auto” mode would be more efficient. It is not. Your heat pump will operate best when set on “heat’ or “cool”.

3. Cold weather is OK! But keep the debris and snow away.

Heat pumps are very efficient at heating and cooling most of the time. Many of today’s heat pumps will operate in temperatures as low as -30°C, however some heat pumps may have trouble producing enough heat to maintain room temperature when outside temperatures drop below -30°C.

If Island residents have trouble keeping their home warm during extreme cold, they should use their supplemental heating system (such as electric resistance or oil/propane heating systems), along with their heat pump to help stay warm. People do not need to turn their heat pumps off in the cold.

Residents should make sure their supplemental home heating systems are on and operating in cold snaps. Set the thermostats to a degree or two lower than heat pumps. This will ensure that if heat pumps cannot keep up in the extreme cold, the supplemental heating systems will kick in and make up the difference to keep their home warm.

Clear snow and debris off the outdoor unit when possible.

4. Focus on saving money in the long run

If your central heat is oil or propane, you can expect your electric bill to increase in cold weather. But you will save more in the long run with reduced fuel costs.

Keep running the heat pump as much as possible to minimize your back up system operation. It's great for the environment too.

Heat pump troubleshooting

If you’re having trouble with your heat pump, try the following before you call a technician for service.

  1. Clean your filter regularly.
  2. Make sure there is no snow in or around your unit. Do not bang on the exterior unit to remove snow. If there is ice build up, gently pour hot water on the outdoor coils to melt the ice.
  3. Make sure your remote settings are on the accurate mode desired and you hear a “Beep” while pointing at your indoor head unit. (Also confirm that your batteries are still charged.)
  4. Turn it off and on again to reset the heat pump. First, turn off the thermostat. Then, locate the circuit breaker close to the outside unit. Reset the circuit breaker, leaving it off for a few minutes. Then turn the circuit breaker and thermostat on again.

Don't have a heat pump yet? Find an eligible contractor and get your heat pump rebate or free heat pump now.



Published date: 
February 3, 2023
Environment, Energy and Climate Action

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