Compared to traditional gas- or electricity-powered furnaces, heat pumps offer an energy-efficient way to heat and cool your home. But they still require some vigilance against energy-sucking operation issues or systemic problems. To maximize the energy savings offered by heat pumps, homeowners should ensure their pumps get proper airflow, are working in conjunction with well-designed ductwork, and remain free of refrigerant leaks.
Heat pumps work by transferring heat present in the air outdoors (even when it feels cold outside) into your home. (They work in reverse in the summer to cool your home, transferring heat from indoors to the outdoors.) Traditional furnaces, on the other hand, consume energy to produce “new” energy, which is less efficient.
As you shop for a new heat pump or maintain your existing one, keep these factors in mind to optimize your heat-pump performance — and keep your utility bills lower:
- If your heat-pump performance is falling short, it might not be getting enough airflow. Your heat pump’s capacity, measured in tons, depends on the amount of space you need it to warm and cool. It needs about 400 to 500 feet per minute of airflow for each ton of capacity. Your HVAC service technician might be able to boost the airflow by adjusting the fan to run faster or cleaning your evaporator coil.
- However, fixing your airflow problem might mean making some changes to your ductwork. Your ducts convey the heated and cooled air from your equipment to the rooms in your home. Poorly designed ductwork hinders airflow. Leaky or poorly insulated ducts also shed energy.
- If insufficient airflow is not your heat pump’s problem, refrigerant might be — specifically, your unit could be charged with too much or too little, which hinders heat pump performance. Your certified HVAC technician should be the one to measure and adjust your heat pump’s refrigerant, which must be handled according to Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
Contact the professionals at Overland Park Heating & Cooling today if you are looking for more information about heat pumps. Our certified technicians proudly serve Overland Park, Johnson County and the Kansas City area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat pump performance and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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