Doing Your Part to Keep Your HVAC System Running

A few months ago, my air conditioner completely died. I woke up in the middle of the night covered in sweat, and I didn't know what to do. The next day, I called an HVAC expert, and they came out to inspect my system. It turned out that it had failed because of filthy filters and a clogged return duct, which made me sick to my stomach. I had caused the problem, and I needed to learn how to fix things. My HVAC professional taught me a few easy maintenance techniques that I didn't know before, so that I could maintain my new system. Check out this blog to learn more about HVAC yourself.

Boost Your Heat Pump's Cooling Effectiveness With These 4 Tips


Heat pumps aren't just for heating your home. When the weather turns blazing hot, you can enjoy summertime comfort simply by switching your heat pump to the cooling mode. Because heat pumps work on the same basic principles as an air conditioner, it's only a matter of reversing the process that normally brings comforting heat inside your home.

When properly set up, a heat pump offers excellent cooling comfort. However, there's plenty you can do to further optimize your heat pump's effectiveness. The following tips and tweaks can also knock a few dollars off of your monthly electric bill.

1. Keep Up With Routine Maintenance

Just like any other type of HVAC equipment, your heat pump needs routine maintenance to work efficiently and effectively. A clean, well-serviced heat pump not only provides maximum cooling efficiency but also uses less electricity in the process.

Have your HVAC technician perform an annual heat pump checkup to safeguard against any potential issues. In addition to a professional checkup, you can also do the following to keep your heat pump healthy:

  • Wipe down air vents regularly to avoid dust and debris buildup.
  • Inspect the outdoor cabinet regularly for debris buildup inside and outside the unit.
  • Replace your heat pump filter at intervals recommended by the manufacturer or your HVAC technician.
  • Don't ignore neglect – have the unit inspected and repaired at the first sign of trouble.

2. Block Radiant Outdoor Heat

As the sun beams down on your home, the resulting heat radiates into your home through unshaded windows. The extra heat only adds additional load onto your heat pump, which means you'll use more energy than necessary to cool your home.

Closing your blinds and curtains during the hottest portions of the day can help block radiant heat and drive down your heat pump's energy consumption. Certain types of windows, including windows with low-emissivity or "low-e" coating, can reduce heat gain by blocking thermal radiation. You can also achieve much of the same effect at a lower cost by applying solar control film onto your home's windows.

3. Adjust Your Thermostat Properly

Your heat pump's effectiveness is also tied to its thermostat setting. However, setting the right temperature isn't so easy, considering how everyone experiences comfort at different outdoor temperatures. To avoid excessive energy usage and maximize cooling comfort, set your thermostat temperatures as high as you feel comfortable with. Most experts recommend a setting of 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you're at home.

If your heat pump still uses an old dial-style thermostat, step up to a smart programmable thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, you can preset your desired temperature and fan speed to suit your level of comfort. Your heat pump will operate based on those settings during the hours or days set.

When choosing a new programmable thermostat, make sure it's optimized for use on heat pumps. Professional placement and installation are also important to prevent false temperature readings that could rob your heat pump of its efficiency.

4. Use AUTO Mode Only for Fans

Setting your heat pump to run on AUTO mode seems simple enough, but it may not be the most efficient way to use your HVAC system. Leaving your heat pump on AUTO could cause it to toggle between COOL and HEAT mode if outdoor temperatures fluctuate. In most cases, you're better off setting your heat pump to COOL during the summer.

Fan speeds are a different story, however. Most heat pumps can dynamically change their fan speeds depending on the level of cooling comfort needed. Using the AUTO FAN setting can help improve overall cooling effectiveness while reducing electricity consumption.


4 June 2019