So, you have purchased your first heat pump for your Auckland home, but now what? How can you get the most out of your purchase? Your new heat pump is one of the most efficient ways to heat a home in moderate climates such as Auckland, New Zealand, so how do you ensure that your heat pump stays efficient and continues to save you money and energy?
Your new heat pump was designed to be an energy efficient way to heat your home, and is a great alternative to other options, such as a furnace. They work by transferring hot or cold air in or out of your home, rather than simply producing heat. To warm your home, heat is pulled out of the air or the ground and moved in to your home. Transferring heat requires much less energy and does not require a fuel source like furnaces do, which means a more natural and less expensive option. New Zealand’s moderate climate makes a heat pump a great choice, as extreme heat and cold will most likely require a fuel burning source to compensate for the varied temperatures.
While heat pumps tend to be a simple and low maintenance way to heat your home, there are still a few tips to keep in mind to keep your heat pump working at optimum levels and saving you the most money possible.
- Set the temperature.
Heat pumps are designed to keep your home at a steady temperature. Setting your heat pump to a comfortable temperature and leaving it there will help increase efficiency. You may think that turning down the temperature at night, or on warmer days, would help you save money, but this isn’t the case. When you need to increase the temperature again, the heat pump will have to work harder to reach that temperature, rather than continuously maintaining it. This is another reason why your heat pump thrives in moderate climates, as it does not need to work harder to maintain the desired temperature.
- Think about air flow.
Your heat pump is capable of heating large areas, but you may want to consider how much of your home needs to be continuously heated. Try closing doors to rooms that do not always need heat, and keeping doors to commonly used areas open to facilitate easy heat flow. You can review a few additional tips for keeping warm in your home here.
- Avoid the emergency switch.
This one may seem obvious, but should be noted. The emergency switch will be a costlier option that should only be used if your heat pump is not working. Depending on the type of pump you are using, your heat pump on the emergency switch will use more power to transfer more heat which will drive up your energy costs. On especially cold days, it may be tempting to switch on the emergency mode to warm up your home quickly. While this is indeed a quicker option, just keep in mind that you may be paying for it in the future.
Some heat pumps, such as the Panasonic heat pump, are also incredibly quiet, which is another benefit. However, take a look at your user manual so you are familiar with your unit and know when it is working properly, rather than relying on your emergency switch.
- Check for frost, ice and debris.
You should be regularly checking the outside of your heat pump for anything obstructing the unit. Depending on how cold the outside temperature is, it is possible that you will see some ice or frost build up on your heat pump, especially in the middle of winter. Ice and frost can clog up your unit and cause it to run less efficiently. Rain can also potentially pose a problem if the heat pump is located below a drainage unit off your home. Keep an eye out for other debris, such as leaves or grass, and keep the heat pump clear of any other obstructions to ensure it is working competently.
- Change filters.
Dirty filters will slow your heat pump’s performance down and increase your energy costs. If your unit comes with an indicator light for dirty filters, make sure you take the time to clean them once the light appears. Otherwise, aim to clean them about once a month. To clean, simply use a vacuum, or rinse them and allow to dry. Review this guide for more in depth instructions for cleaning. Your heat pump may also contain allergen cartridges, which should also be regularly changed. Consult your manual or review the manufacturer website for more details on replacement cartridges. You should also check your unit’s heating coils for dirt and debris within the unit, just as you do the outside, and clean them often.
- Consider a professional technician service.
Besides any major malfunctions, you may not think that your heat pump needs additional professional services. While it is designed to be low maintenance, a yearly professional technician service can keep your heat pump working at its best throughout the year. A technician can look for various leaks, obstructions within the unit, and lubricate belts and the motor. They can also clean and change your filters if you are not comfortable doing this yourself. A simple yearly maintenance visit by a professional, such as the highly experienced team at Varcoe Refrigeration, can help keep your costs down and your heat pump running malfunction-free. You can take a look at their company profile page to learn more about their years of experience and proven track record. It is important that the technician you choose is experienced and has worked with your type of heat pump before.
Using these tips, you will find that your heat pump is an economical and energy saving way to heat your home in New Zealand.