What You Should Know About Operating a Heat Pump in Winter

Winter is coming fast and we know what that means. Long, cold days and bitter nights. Piles of snow and slippery sidewalks. Teeth-chattering hours shoveling the driveway. Fortunately, you planned ahead and installed a heat pump for your home. You’re ready for Old Man Winter but you still have a few questions about how the pump will work in the cold months.

Heat pumps are electrically-generated heating and cooling systems that are a very cost-effective option compared to other electric heating products. They are popular choices among homeowners to strike an affordable heating-cooling balance all year ‘round.

But even with glowing recommendations, you’re unsure about the pump’s reliability when temperatures plummet. How can a heat pump create heat from icy cold air? The first thing to remember is that like us humans, heat pumps work in different ways during winter. Knowing that, taking a few precautions will ensure ideal operation and indoor comfort, and save you money in the long run.

Heat through movement

Heat pumps are one of the most efficient way to heat a home but keep in mind that these systems don’t generate original heat; they move it from one place to another, specifically from inside to outside during hot summer months and outside to in during winter. The latter might seem impossible but heat pumps can still wring heat from outs ide air when it’s cold. (Note, however, that efficiency drops when temperature dips below freezing.) People living in northern tier states would not do well with a heat pump.

Keep your temperature in check

Dialing the thermostat to 85 every time you have a chill will not heat your home faster and in fact only burns up a tremendous amount of energy. Consider a programmable thermostat and always turn the heat pump off when not in use. A temperature range of 65-75 degrees F gleans the best heat pump results.

Defrosting is a good thing

Cold weather will initiate the defrost mode of a heat pump in order to prevent ice build-up on internal parts. It’s a normal part of operation but call a pro if this setting remains on for long periods.

Filter change

A clean heat pump filter is critical to optimal performance and a long lifespan for the system. A clean filter also keeps air quality high inside your home and helps the system run easier.

For more information on using heat pumps in winter, contact Cascade Mechanical at (509) 642-6383.