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As a Boston resident, you’re all too familiar with wild temperature swings. During the summer months, it’s not out of the question for temperatures to reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Conversely, once the winter season rolls around, temperatures at or below freezing are commonplace. So, that brings us to an important question: what is the most efficient way to heat and cool your home?

While there are several popular options to consider, many residents in and around the Boston area rely on a heat pump. If this sounds like you, it never hurts to learn how to efficiently operate your heat pump. Here are some tips for doing so.

1. Proper Maintenance is a Must
Regardless of what type of heating and cooling system you rely on, regular (and proper) maintenance is critical to efficient operation. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, the energy consumption difference between a properly maintained heat pump and one that’s neglected can reach as high as 25 percent.

Here are some examples of how to maintain your heat pump:

  • Clean or change filters as recommended by the manufacturer
  • Clean outdoor coils as necessary
  • Clean indoor units for maximum airflow

Even though it takes time to do these things, it’s much better than neglecting your system and dealing with the consequences (higher energy costs and a greater likelihood of malfunction).

2. Adjust Your Heat Pump Thermostat
If you’re familiar with your heat pump, you probably have a good idea of where to set the thermostat. However, if you’re new to your heat pump system, it may take some getting used to. Note: heat pumps measure temperature differently than traditional thermostats, so you may find yourself settling on a higher setting. Take as much time as necessary to learn how each setting corresponds with the climate inside your home. Even a one-degree adjustment can make a big difference.

3. Call in a Pro
Even if you’re familiar and comfortable with heat pump maintenance, it’s a good idea to schedule a professional technician to inspect your system once a year. In addition to basic upkeep, they can also:

  • Check for and seal leaks
  • Inspect all electrical components
  • Lubricate motors and other moving parts
  • Verify proper airflow
  • Check for proper thermostat operation

There may be something you’re overlooking that a professional will immediately notice. And that could be the difference between spending and saving. Is it More Efficient to Leave a Heat Pump On? This is a common question with a pretty simple answer: yes.

Generally speaking, it’s more efficient to leave a heat pump on than to continually turn it on and off.
For example, if you set back the heat pump’s thermostat, it causes your backup heating system to kick on. Subsequently, it’ll use more energy, as these are typically more expensive to operate. This doesn’t mean your heat pump should run all the time. It simply means you should use the “auto” fan setting on the thermostat to ensure that it kicks on and off based on your preferences. Here’s the bottom line: heat pumps work most efficiently when they’re set to maintain a steady temperature in your home.

Can a Heat Pump Heat a Whole House?
This depends on a variety of factors – such as the type of system and size of your home – but there’s a very good chance that a high-efficiency heat pump can heat your whole house. For example, Mitsubishi is a leader in this niche of the HVAC market, with many of its systems designed to heat and cool entire homes.

Tip: heat pumps are available in varying sizes. If you buy one that’s too small, it won’t have the power to heat your entire home. On the flip side, if you buy one that’s too big, it can result in wasted energy (and more money out of your pocket). If you rely on a heat pump to keep you warm over those long Boston winters, it makes sense to operate it as efficiently as possible. Not only does this save you money, but it also puts less strain on your system. Contact us if you’re ready to install a heat pump or your current system requires maintenance or repairs.

Energy Efficiency

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