Your Heat Pump Thermostat: Learn How to Operate It Correctly

Your Heat Pump Thermostat: Learn How to Operate It CorrectlyHeat pumps are versatile home-comfort systems with great benefits for energy efficiency and comfort during the heating and cooling months. If you use a heat pump for supplemental or primary heating, or as part of a dual-fuel heating system in your Bloomfield or Rochester Hills home, make sure you use a programmable heat pump thermostat correctly to maximize performance and your home-comfort experience.

Heat Pump Home Heating

Heat pumps are exceptionally efficient systems that extract, move and release heat-energy from outdoor air to indoor air, rather than burning fuel to produce heat like an oil or gas furnace. However, a heat pump’s strength is also its Achilles heel.

When the home’s heating load exceeds the heat pump’s heating capacity, the heat pump powers off and backup heating is engaged with an electric-resistance heating element, which is extremely inefficient.

The following circumstances are examples for when backup heating is engaged:

  • The thermostat set point is manually adjusted more than two degrees above room temperature.
  • If the programmable thermostat in use is not designed for heat pumps, backup heating is engaged to heat the home more quickly following an energy-saving set-back period.

Heat Pump Programmable Thermostat Tips

A heat pump thermostat is designed to incrementally adjust the heating output of your heat pump — one degree at a time — to match the thermostat set point. This prevents backup heating from engaging, and keeps your heating bills manageable.

During the frigid heating months in Royal Oak and Bloomfield Hills, a heat pump thermostat has no effect on backup heating when the balance point is reached, which is typically when outside temperatures drop to 32 to 35 degrees.

However, a heat pump programmable thermostat does work nicely as outside temperatures warm to within the heat pump’s heating range following a cold spell or frigid night. With the right programmable thermostat settings, the heat pump thermostat powers off the backup heating elements and engages the heat pump for home heating again.

For more heat pump thermostat tips or other heating questions you may have regarding your Southeast Michigan home, contact us at Aladdin Heating & Cooling.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Warren, Michigan about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about heat pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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