Two Ways You Could Be Accidentally Keeping Your Heat Pump From Performing Efficiently

Because it performs on the basis of moving heat from one place to another rather than creating heat from energy, a heat pump is a much more efficient way to get your home heated in winter than any other kind of heater, such as a furnace or electrical heater, that creates heat using fuel. In fact, modern heat pumps have gotten up to about 300% efficient, which basically means that they gather three times as much energy together to heat your home as the amount of energy that they use to do it with. But just because modern technology is so great at making efficient heaters, that doesn't mean that you should just ignore your heat pump and let it do its thing without taking proper care to maximize its efficiency. Not only is a more efficient unit better for the environment, but it can also save you money on energy. Here are two ways you could be mistakenly reducing your heat pump's efficiency during use.

1. Using the thermostat incorrectly

Set your thermostat to heat or cold based on the season, rather than selecting the auto setting (which could mistakenly turn on heat at night in the summer or AC on a warm winter day). And don't use the "emergency heating" setting just because it's cold outside. Winter itself is not necessarily an emergency. Some people who have a little knowledge of how their heat pump works get confused because they know that heat pumps, up until recent years, have only been effective heaters until the outside temperature approaches freezing. However, you really don't need to turn on the emergency heat unless it's uncomfortable cold in the house (meaning that the heat pump can't keep up with the cold) or the pump has failed and is waiting for repairs (or, in rare situations, if the pump is damaged in such a way that running it before repairs would damage it further).  

2. Neglecting various types of care and maintenance

It ought to go without saying that you should change your air filters and schedule annual maintenance with a professional, but you'd be surprised how many people skip caring for their heaters and then complain when something goes wrong. Even just a blocked air filter can allow dust into the system, make the unit work harder for the air it needs (reducing efficiency), and more.

So give your heat pump a little love every now and then to reduce the chances of malfunction.