Get An Upper Hand On Old Man Winter: Make Your Heat Pump More Efficient

Winter seems to be arriving earlier each year and with an earlier arrival, the cost of heating goes up sooner. Did you know you probably have a few bad heating related habits costing your money? While you may not be able to control how soon old man winter chooses to make an appearance, changing a few of your bad habits can help you save a significant amount of money off the cost of your heating.

Do You Forget To Change Your Filters?

The importance of changing your filter in your furnace or heat pump is common knowledge. You know dirty, or clogged filters, will not only block your air flow, but will cause your furnace to work harder to deliver warm air throughout your home. When you furnace has to work harder, it uses more electricity, which in turn cost you more money.

Working your system harder than it is designed to work will also shorten the life of your unit. You also run the risk of your filters being so saturated, that the dirty air gets past your filter. When this happens the dirty air goes into the fan section of your unit, where it will cause problems with additional system components. 

Look for filters which will give you not only a longer life, but will provide you with higher efficiency. Two that you may want to consider are:

While these are slightly higher in price than some of the other suggested manufacturer suggested filters for your system, they will capture particles much smaller than any of the other types of filters. This keeps your duct work cleaner longer, keeps small dirt particles from passing through to your coils, and allows your system to work less with better results. Electrostatic air filters can be easily cleaned, which will save you money over the cost of the disposable filters you may have been buying in the past.

If you cannot remember the last time you changed your filters, it is probably time to do so. Once you change them, put an appointment reminder on your calendar, or into your phone.

Are You Heating An Empty House?

An efficient heat pump can take one kilowatt of energy and turn it into three kilowatts of heat. What you may not have considered is that generating this heat when no one is home is a waste of energy, which in turn is a waste of money.

The easiest way to ensure you are not heating an empty house is to install an adjustable thermostat. They are simple to install and even easier to use. Once you install one, you will be able to program the temperature that you want your home to be throughout different periods of the day. For example:

When you wake at 6:30 am, you can have your home a warm 70 degrees, but when you leave an hour later, your thermostat will automatically lower your heat to 60 degrees and hold it there throughout the day. It can then raise the temperature back to a comfortable 68 degrees, 15 minutes before you return home. 

If your schedule changes, it can also be programmed to do something completely different from day to day. 

Are You Creating Heating Emergencies?

On your heat pump thermostat there is another setting besides off and on. It is emergency heat. This is not to be confused with auxiliary heat. When your heat pump cannot pull enough heat from the outside air or ground it will activate your electric resistance heat, which are usually heat strips that are located within your system. When this takes place, your system will remain energy efficient. 

Unfortunately, when the temperature drops really low, some people think they need to flip their systems to emergency heat to help their system provide the extra heat they will need. This bypasses the energy efficient mechanisms that are built into the system, and turns your heat on full-force which cost you money.

You do not have to do this. Your system will automatically make up the difference between the heat it is able to find and the heat you need. You only turn your thermostat on emergency heat when it is truly an emergency, such as when your system is not coming on at all. This switches your heat pump to an electric furnace. If you have to turn your system onto emergency heat, call a service person, like from Aggressive Mechanical Contractors. There is problems with your system.