Heat Pump User Tip: Set Your Heat Pump for Comfort
Mainers have installed tens of thousands of heat pumps in their homes and businesses because they are the most efficient way to heat and cool a building, saving users on their energy costs throughout the entire year.
If you’ve made the investment, or are considering it, we’d like to share some tips on how you can save the most with a heat pump. In our last blog post, we discussed the benefits of leaving your heat pump set to a constant temperature. This third post in our series talks about why users should set their heat pump for comfort.
We recommend that you set your heat pump thermostat to the temperature that makes your home or business feel the most comfortable. This might be a higher temperature than the setting you used with your previous heating system, such as an oil boiler or a furnace. Why? Well, many heat pump indoor units are mounted high on the wall near the ceiling and that’s where they measure the air temperature. As hot air rises in a room, high wall units end up measuring air temperature that is warmer than what people in the room are experiencing. In contrast, boilers and furnaces typically have thermostats that are located nearer to the floor and measure air temperature that is closer to what the occupants feel. We recommend finding the temperature on your heat pump thermostat that makes your home the most comfortable, even if that means that it’s set a few degrees higher than you set your former heating system.
Setting your heat pump to the temperature that’s most comfortable for you is the most efficient way to use it. In fact, heat pumps perform at over 100% efficiency even on the coldest winter days and can be twice as efficient as a window air conditioner unit for the warmer months. As the graph below shows, high-performance heat pumps can perform at over 100% efficiency even into negative temperatures (Coefficient of Performance of 1 = 100% operating efficiency). The graph also shows that high-performance heat pumps tend to operate at over 200% efficiency above 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Figure 1 source: 2019 evaluation of Efficiency Maine’s Home Energy Savings Program
The key is to be comfortable. We recommend that you set your heat pump to a comfortable temperature and leave it alone. You’ll still save energy and may lower your energy costs.
Efficiency Maine offers rebates and loans for homeowners and businesses interested in installing heat pumps. If you don’t have a heat pump, go to https://www.efficiencymaine.com/about-heat-pumps/ for more information on how to apply for rebates and financing, how to find a Residential Registered Vendor near you, and more. Also check https://www.efficiencymaine.com/heat-pump-user-tips/ for more details on these tips and to view a video on how to get the most from your heat pump. To estimate your home heating costs, consider using our Home Heating Costs Calculator.