Heat pumps are one of the most efficient ways to heat and cool your home. By using a heat pump, you can lower your utility bills by up to 40 percent compared with a traditional forced air furnace or central heating system. But getting the most out of your new heat pump means more than just installing it correctly. You also need to use it properly. Here’s how to make sure you’re maximizing your efficiency.
The first step is to identify which components of your system will be affected by operating costs and determine what level of performance you want from them.
For example, if you plan on running your heat pump only part of the year (for instance, during the winter months), then you’ll have to choose a higher capacity unit and install a larger compressor that runs at peak capacity for longer periods of time. The same goes for when you run your heat pump in the summertime. If you don’t plan on using an air conditioner, then you’ll need to consider the energy used to operate the condenser fan motor.
Next, take a look at the various components of your system and decide whether they should be operated together as a “package” or individually. For example, do you really need your heat pump to run all day? Can you use a programmable thermostat to turn off your heat pump at night? Will you benefit from having two separate units instead of a single heat pump?
If you’d like to save money on your electric bill while keeping your comfort levels high, you may want to invest in a dual-purpose unit, which combines both heating and cooling functions. This type of system works similar to a heat pump but has the ability to switch back and forth between heating and cooling modes. If you plan on doing some heavy laundry, for instance, your system will automatically switch to heating mode to keep the laundry warm. And if you’re planning on doing any cooking, you can simply flip the dial so your system kicks into cooling mode.
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But before you purchase a dual-purpose unit, make sure you know exactly how much space you’ll need for each individual component. Some manufacturers offer different sizes and capacities depending on the size of your home. In this case, you’ll want to measure the area where you plan on placing each piece of equipment. Also remember to factor in any additional square footage needed to accommodate ductwork and other building systems.
Once you’ve determined the right equipment for your needs, you’ll still need to figure out how to install it correctly.
To maximize your efficiency, don’t forget about the outdoor unit of your heat pump. While many people think of their HVAC system as being limited to inside the house, this isn’t necessarily true. A properly installed heat pump will not only provide heat and cooling to the inside of your home, but will also help reduce your energy consumption outside. This is because these units use the same refrigerant fluid as a conventional air conditioning system. As such, they can easily transfer heat to or from your outdoor environment through your walls.
This is because the heat pump’s compressor uses the same refrigerant fluid as a typical central AC system. As long as the wall insulation is sound, the heat pump’s compressor can move heat from inside your home to outdoors, thereby reducing your overall energy consumption.
Another common problem, especially in older homes, is poor indoor airflow. Poor indoor airflow is usually caused by inadequate ventilation or poorly designed ductwork. To avoid problems like this, ask your HVAC installer for recommendations on the best way to design and install your home’s ductwork. It may also help to have an expert perform a free duct inspection to check for possible leaks.
Finally, make sure your HVAC contractor checks your home’s air filter regularly. When the filters become clogged, they can affect the efficiency of your heat pump. In fact, a dirty filter can cut your efficiency up to 50 percent. So, it’s important to clean your air filter at least once every month. In addition, it’s worth noting that a well-maintained HVAC system will be able to last approximately 20 years. On average, this equates to an annual savings of $2,800.
By taking these steps, you can ensure that you’re making the most of your heat pump — and saving yourself a lot of money in the process!