In the moderate cold that is typical of a Virginia winter, a highly efficient heat pump can be more efficient than a furnace or boiler. Heat pumps use electricity to extract warmth from the outdoor air and move it into your house. Compared to traditional electric heating, a heat pump can save 30% to 40% on electricity costs for heating. On the coldest days, however, a heat pump's efficiency declines.
Heat Pump Conservation Tips
Follow these tips to optimize the efficiency of your heat pump system:
- Do not set back the heat pump thermostat if it causes the backup heating to come on, because the backup system is probably less efficient.
- For continuous indoor fan operation, install a variable-speed fan motor so that heat pump performance does not degrade.
- Keep your system well maintained with professional tuning at least once a year. Proper maintenance can save more than 10% on electricity, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Clean or change filters once a month or as needed. Dirty filters reduce airflow through the system, which decreases performance.
- Clean outdoor coils whenever they appear dirty. Power down the fan occasionally and clean it.
- Remove vegetation and clutter from around the outdoor unit.
- Clean the supply and return registers inside your home, and straighten their fins if they are bent.
- Inspect the ductwork periodically. A typical system loses 20% of its conditioned air through leaks and faulty connections.
- Insulate thoroughly to eliminate heat loss through your walls, ceilings and floors. You could reduce your fuel bills by as much as 15 percent, according to Consumer Energy Council of America.
- Open shades and drapes during the daytime to let the sun's warmth in, and close them when the sun goes down.
- Close your kitchen vent, fireplace damper and closet doors when not in use.
- Remove air conditioning window units, or cover them well.
- Check your threshold for any gaps between it and the door. Use a bottom seal that can be attached to the bottom of the door. It should brush up against the floor to seal up the threshold and eliminate drafts.
- Make sure you have good insulation on exterior walls, ceilings with cold spaces above, and floors with cold spaces below.
- Replace the windows. Consider new low-emissivity glass that will decrease radiant heat loss without lowering visibility.
- Correct air leaks around windows, doors and electrical outlets.
- Repair weather stripping and caulking.
- Replace any cracked glass in your windows.
- Keep ductwork in good repair with duct insulation.
For more information, please contact us.