In the last month, I have had a lot of discussions with my friends who are heat pump users or HVAC technicians. I have learned some information that will help you save money on your electric bill.
They should run almost all the time.
Heat pumps are most efficient when they run almost all the time. During the heating season if your heat pump runs essentially all the time, on the coldest day of the winter it is sized right for the job and is working efficiently.
Same thing is true for cooling in the hot weather. If your heat pump runs almost all the time on the hottest day of the summer, it is not too big for the job.
This may seem backward from what you were used to with a furnace or air conditioner. With a furnace or air conditioner, the less it runs the more you save. With a heat pump, the more it runs the more efficient it is.
Do not set back the thermostat
Do not manually set back a heat pump's thermostat at night or when you go out to work. Without a thermostat specifically designed (expensive and complex) for heat pump setback, the electric resistance backup heat will engage when the thermostat is raised in the morning, resulting in much higher energy consumption.
If you ignore this advice and turn your thermostat down at bedtime, do not reduce it more than 2 or 4 degrees. Do it for your own comfort not to save money. Maintaining a moderate setting all the time is the most cost-effective practice.
Keep it cleaner
Clean or change filters once a month or as needed, and maintain the system according to manufacturer's instructions.
Filter and coil maintenance have a dramatic impact on system performance and service life. Dirty filters, coils, and fans reduce airflow through the system. Reduced airflow decreases system performance and can lead to compressor damage if it continues for an extended period.
Clean and lubricate the fan motor annually to ensure the required airflow is provided for proper operation. The fan speed should be checked at the same time. Incorrect pulley settings, loose fan belts, or incorrect motor speeds can all contribute to poor performance.
Protect the out door unit
Outdoor units should be protected from high winds. High winds may reduce efficiency by causing defrost problems. However, outdoor units should not be fenced in, that will result in recirculation of air over the coil.
They are different than what you grew up with
The other big difference between fuel fired furnaces and heat pumps is in the air temperature coming out of the registers. When you had a furnace, you learned to enjoy the warm feeling of the air flowing out of the registers when the furnace kicked on. The high temperature air moved enough heat into the house to warm it up in a short period of time and then the furnace would kick off.
Heating with a heat pump is different. The heat pump puts out gentler heat. The air coming out of the registers is cooler than you get from a furnace. The air is still carrying heat into the house, but because it is not as warm, it has to run a lot longer to move the required amount of heat into the house.
Because of wind chill, the air flowing out of the registers feels cool when you stick your hand in the airflow. Some folks are uncomfortable with this situation and plug in a space heater or two to make themselves feel warmer.
That just runs up the electric bill.
Use the space heaters only after you have watched the temperature for a while. If the temperature in the house is steady but too low or is dropping, you will need a space-heating boost. If the temperature is warm enough and steady or raising do not use the space heaters, put on a sweater.
Click here for a free money saving report titled HOW SAVE MONEY ON YOUR NEXT HEATING BILL
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