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Heat pumps are efficient and versatile alternatives to traditional heating systems because they have the power to both heat and cool your home in Charles Town, WV. But if you’re inattentive or aren’t used to how these systems work, you may make mistakes while using them that will cost you. Here are five mistakes people often make concerning their heat pumps.

1. Getting the Wrong Size

When installing a heat pump, you must ensure your system is the right size for your home. If it isn’t, it will plague you with problems for the duration of its lifespan.

Before installation, HVAC teams should perform a manual J load calculation. This process lets technicians determine what capacity your home’s HVAC system requires. They should measure the total square footage of your home, noting features like windows and doors and placing all relevant data into a mathematical equation that reveals how big of a heat pump you should have.

There are consequences for miscalculating in either direction. A heat pump that is too small will have to work harder than intended and will be unable to heat or cool your home effectively. A heat pump that is too large will begin short cycling and could likely wear out before its intended lifespan.

2. Neglecting Maintenance

Forgetting about regular maintenance is a mistake no matter what kind of indoor comfort system you have. Maintenance is especially important for heat pumps.

Maintenance is critical now that the weather is getting colder since pulling heat from cold outdoor air is difficult work. Trained maintenance technicians can find latent problems in your system and take care of them before your system breaks down.

HVAC professionals typically suggest scheduling maintenance on your system at least once per year, although biannual maintenance in fall and spring is ideal. HVAC manufacturers typically void a system warranty if you cannot show proof of maintenance at least once a year. This should provide all the more reason not to forget about it.

3. Not Cleaning the Outdoor Unit

When your heat pump is in heating mode, it will extract heat from the outside air or ground (if you have a geothermal unit). If the outdoor unit is dirty or surrounded by leaves and other debris, it could create problems.

When air can’t sufficiently flow in and around the heat pump, it can’t effectively extract the heat. Dirty coils in the condenser also inhibit heat transfer. Take care to keep the area around your outdoor unit free from overhanging branches, leaf buildup and pets.

4. Using Auto Mode

This is a counterintuitive suggestion, as most would think that auto mode would be an efficient heat pump setting. This setting allows your heat pump to decide on its own when to switch between its heating and cooling modes. However, the pump doesn’t always make such decisions well since it can sometimes base them on minute fluctuations in temperature.

When the system makes the wrong decision, it will cycle purposelessly between heating and cooling modes, wasting energy. This can happen especially during spring and fall, with cold mornings and warm afternoons.

However, don’t confuse this with the Auto-Fan mode. Keeping the fan on auto mode is best so it doesn’t run continuously, wasting energy.

5. Over-Adjusting the Thermostat

Once you find a comfortable temperature, stick with it. You might think that temporarily setting your thermostat higher will force your heat pump to warm your home faster, but it won’t. This will only waste energy.

By carefully avoiding habits like the preceding, you can greatly increase your home’s comfort and get more bang for your buck. Our team of expert HVAC technicians stands ready to help. Just call Griffith Energy Services today to get the best HVAC service in Charles Town, WV for your heat pump or other indoor comfort system.

Image provided by iStock

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