Maximize Efficiency of Your Heat Pump Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are becoming more and more popular with homeowners in trying to make their homes as energy efficient as possible. But a heat pump’s thermostat works differently than a furnace-based heating system’s thermostat does. That doesn’t mean a heat pump isn’t an energy efficient way to heat your home; it just means that it must be operated correctly to achieve optimal efficiency. Find out how a heat pump’s thermostat is designed to function, and how you can maximize its potential.
Heat pumps come with a thermostat, like any other type of heating system. The way they differ is in how you use the settings on the thermostat. You may have it set to a certain temperature, but if someone decides to raise that setting any higher than two degrees, that causes the auxiliary heat to turn on. The auxiliary function, which also is called backup or emergency heating, is there to help the heat pump quickly reach the raised temperature, or to help the heat pump meet the thermostat temperature when outside temperatures are especially cold. This is done with a grid of resistance heat strips inside the air handler.
While auxiliary mode may effectively heat your home in timely fashion, it drains energy, which becomes costly. This is why, if you do have a regular programmable thermostat working with your heat pump, it’s usually better to leave it at one temperature or program it for no more than a one or two degree change. A heat pump programmable thermostat, however, will save you the trouble. It’s designed to increase the setback temperature by one degree at a time when it’s returning to your comfort temperature.
It will begin the incremental temperature increases a sufficient period before you wake up or arrive home at work, so that the temperature arrives at your desired setting just at the right time. When it comes to programmable thermostats for heat pumps, first make sure the thermostat is designed for a heat pump and will work with your specific system. It’s also not recommended that you install it yourself, but arrange professional installation instead. But if you follow these simple steps, your home can stay nice and warm in an energy-efficient manner.
At Sobieski Services, our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Photo Credit: photos-by-sherm via Compfight cc