When you use an air-source heat pump to heat and cool your home, how you set the thermostat can make a big difference in your utility bill, especially during the winter, when low temperatures at night cause the heat pump to kick on. A heat-pump thermostat controls your home’s heating and cooling process, but if you turn down it down too low in the winter, you can cause the supplementary electric coil to turn on when you turn it up in the morning.
Although heat pumps are energy efficient, providing three watts of heat for each watt consumed during the normal heating cycle, when the second stage heating strip comes on, the heat output drops to just one watt per one watt of electricity used. However, there are two ways to avoid this energy drain. You can either keep the thermostat setting for night at the same temperature for daytime use, or you can install a special heat-pump thermostat that overrides the second-stage heating, which conserves energy.
The process that a specific heat-pump thermostat uses is called intelligent recovery technology. The thermostat overrides the heat strip, saving your energy dollars. These thermostats use a microchip that calculates when to turn on during the night so that your home is comfortable when you wake up. The heat pump runs more when it’s in the intelligent recovery mode, but the energy draw is one-third less than when using a conventional thermostat that kicks on the electrical coil.
Heat pumps work best in the heating cycle when outdoor temperatures don’t drop below freezing. Since the appliances harvest heat as a primary source of energy to keep your home warm, lower temperatures reduce the available heat in the air. By not setting back the thermostat if you use a standard unit, you can save energy, or if you want the most energy savings from your heat pump, consider the intelligent recovery technology found in the special heat-pump thermostats.
If you’d like more information about these thermostats, contact Montgomery’s Comfort Centre, providing exceptional heating and air conditioning services in Port Elgin and Wingham since 1992.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about thermostats and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Montgomery’s services the Wingham and Port Elgin regions of Ontario. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!
Thermostat image via Shutterstock