Operating your Heat Pump During Winter Months | R. A. Styron | Chesapeake Heating Specialists

Nine Things You Should Know When Operating Your HP During Winter Months


Heat pumps can be a great option for any homeowner, pretty much anywhere! They are the most cost-effective option (when compared to other electric heating methods that create original heat), and they can be a great way to optimize your year-round heating and cooling costs. However, even with all these benefits, homeowners may still be hesitant to choose a heat pump. The main hang-up being winter heat pump operation.

I mean, how can a heat pump possibly pull heat out of the air when it is SO COLD outside? Well, here are 9 things you should know about operating your heat pump in winter.

  1. Your heat pump can always pull heat out of the air. Fingers crossed that it never reaches absolute zero on Earth! The question is efficiency. When does it become less efficient for your heat pump to pull heat out of the cold air? The answer? Well, a good rule of thumb is right around 20 degrees. This doesn’t mean that it will stop heating when it drops below 20, it simply means that it will have to run a bit harder to keep up.
  2. Defrost mode can be alarming! But, it’s crucial for heat pump operation in winter. Ice may begin to form on your outdoor components when the temperature drops below freezing. So, your heat pump will reverse operation to defrost those components. But, this will only be for a short while and is completely normal.
  3. But, if it seems like defrost mode may be kicking on too frequently or lasting too long… make sure you call a local heating and air contractor. While defrost mode is a normal part of operation, anything that seems excessive or out of the ordinary, should be looked into by a professional.
  4. DO NOT rely on emergency heat for really cold days. This can really drive up utility bills, and is most definitely not the most efficient allocation of heating energy. If the temperatures drop to below 20 degrees in our area for a number of days, you will see your system running in emergency heat for brief periods of time. If you notice your HP running in emergency mode nonstop, make sure you schedule a service call and have a professional look at it. While you may continue to feel comfortable in your home, emergency heat will run your electricity bill sky high.
  5. Make things programmable. This way you don’t have to worry about constantly monitoring your thermostat. When you have your new heat pump installed, ask your contractor about a programmable thermostat. Check out our blog on types of programmable thermostats here.
  6. Like all other systems, make sure that you are paying attention to your filter.This will make sure that the air you are receiving from your heat pump during the winter is premium quality. We have a blog on filter replacement as well, here.
  7. Have your heat and cooling contractor explain best practices for operating a heat pump in your area during winter. They will know best practices for homes in your area.
  8. Make sure you schedule a tune-up at least once a year to make sure that your heat pump is in peak condition for the heating and cooling season. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
  9. Lastly, clear winter debris from around your heat pump to prevent blocked airflow. Decreased airflow means decreased efficiency.

If something seems off with your heat pump, don’t ignore it. Call R. A. Styron today to schedule your service call with one of our highly experienced and qualified service technicians today.

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