Tens of thousands of Mainers have installed high-performance heat pumps because they are one of the most efficient ways to heat and cool Maine homes. If you’ve made the investment, or are considering it, we’d like to share a few tips on how you can maximize the benefits of your heat pump.
Use your heat pump year round.
You may have initially purchased your heat pump for super efficient summer cooling. But high-performance heat pumps also deliver heat efficiently over an entire heating season. If you have both a heat pump and a furnace/boiler, your heat pump is the more efficient and cleaner system for heating.
Don’t duplicate efforts.
When heating, wherever possible choose your heat pump. Don’t use both your heat pump and your furnace/boiler to heat the same spaces. To maximize the clean and efficient heat generated from your heat pump, try turning off the furnace/boiler thermostat for spaces that can be heated by your heat pump. If this isn’t practical, then consider closing furnace/boiler dampers, registers, or radiators in rooms heated by the heat pump. Maximizing the heat pump’s “zone” can maximize savings over the life of the heat pump. If this approach leaves a remote part of your home too cold, consider moving the furnace/boiler thermostat to that location.
Coordinate temperature settings.
Set your furnace or boiler’s thermostat lower than your heat pump setting. This way, the furnace or boiler will come on only if the heat pump does not meet your needs.
Set for comfort.
Heat pumps measure room temperature differently than traditional furnace or boiler thermostats. You may find you need to set your heat pump at a higher temperature than you are used to. Set it for comfort regardless of your usual furnace/boiler setting.
Set it and forget it.
Heat pumps don’t work like conventional heating systems. Turning the temperature down when you’re away or asleep won’t necessarily save energy. They work most efficiently when allowed to maintain a constant temperature 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Avoid “Auto” mode.
Set your heat pump mode to “Heat” in winter and “Cool” in summer. Avoid using “Auto” mode, as this could cause the system to heat on a cool summer night or cool on a sunny winter afternoon.
Optimize fan speed.
Start off with the fan setting on “Auto Fan.” If that doesn’t spread the heat far enough, set the speed to the lowest level that will meet your needs.
Optimize air flow direction.
Generally speaking, it’s best to direct warm air towards the floor and away from occupants and direct cool air up or directly at occupants. Experiment to see what works best for you.
Clean your dust filters.
Heat pumps work best when dust filters are clean. Vacuum or rinse the dust filters whenever they become visibly dirty or when the indicator light comes on. The frequency of cleaning can range from weeks to months depending on use and dust volume. Consult your user manual for information on how to clean your filters.
Keep your outdoor unit clear.
Keep shrubs away from outdoor units and remove leaves that may become stuck in them, being careful not to bend the radiator fins. Clear snow drifts away from outdoor units but don’t worry about snow and ice accumulating on them. Heat pumps automatically defrost.
Have your heat pump serviced.
Consider following the manufacturer’s recommendations about when to clean and service your unit. Regular maintenance can help ensure peak performance.
We hope these tips help you maximize the benefit of your heat pump. While every home and business is different, a high-performance heat pump will operate most efficiently and reduce overall heating and cooling costs if you follow these tips.