Getting the Most Out of Your Ductless Heat Pump
Dec 11, 2019
Congratulations! You’ve made the investment in a high-efficiency ductless heating and cooling system. You’ll want to make the most of your new setup and ensure you are seeing the savings you signed up for, but where do you begin? You could just “set it and forget it,” but by following some simple guidance you can maximize the performance and savings of your new system.
Tips for Setting and Operating your system
- Choose “Heating” or “Cooling” mode and set your temperature. If you leave your system to automatically select a target temperature, you run this risk of using heating and cooling in the same day, sacrificing efficiency and comfort especially during the milder, shoulder months than can easily swing between chilly mornings and warm afternoons. Instead, select either the “Heating” or “Cooling” setting and the temperature that works for you.
- Do set the fan speed to “Auto” for better efficiency and comfort.
- Minimize your ductless heat pump set-back temperatures. Ductless heat pumps work differently than forced air furnaces or baseboard heaters, and are most efficient when they are maintaining a constant temperature. They use the most energy when they are firing up to meet the target temperature from a significant setback. Only set back your temperature if you are leaving your home for several days, and only set it back 2–3 degrees to maximize your energy savings.
- Do use a setback for your backup heat. If bedrooms and less-used rooms of your home have supplemental heat (typically an electric furnace, wall heaters or baseboard heaters), set these backup systems 2 degrees lower (in winter) than your ductless heat pump temperature setting. This will allow the more efficient heat pump to do most of the heating.
- Keep interior doors open during the day. This is most important when you have a single-head ductless system in the main part of your home. This will allow the heated or cooled air to reach more of your home, ensuring that you get the most comfort out of your system.
- Make the most of the sun — and your ability to shade it. During winter months, keep the curtains open whenever you don’t need that added privacy. In the summer, keep the curtains of south- and west-facing windows closed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Controlling the amount of energy you’re letting in can correspond to less work for your ductless system and lower bills.
Tips for Maintaining Your System
- Read the manufacturer’s manual that came with your system.
- Clean the filters every two months. Clean filters will allow for the proper airflow over the indoor head coils and give you the best temperature transfer into the airstream
- Replace with new filters as recommended in your system manual.
- Once a month, take a quick look at the outdoor unit (compressor) to ensure it is free of debris, like leaves, tall weeds or snow. The outdoor unit relies on air movement over its coils, so keeping the system clear of obstructions will help ensure high performance.
- Inspect the insulation on any exposed refrigerant lines to check for degradation. Check the end of the hard plastic lineset cover where the refrigerant lines come out. Sun, pests, rain, and pets can all degrade your refrigerant line insulation.
Consider scheduling your installer to perform regular maintenance to keep your system humming along and delivering the performance and efficiency you’re expecting. Some companies offer a maintenance package with your installation. It’s recommended to have a technician inspect and clean your system components every 1 to 4 years.
- To get the most bang for your buck with your new heat pump, consider weatherizing your home. Homes with fewer air leaks and insulation gaps require less energy to keep at a stable temperature in summer and winter. Weatherizing your home can help your heating and cooling savings climb toward 50%–70%.
Following these tips will help you get the most out of your ductless heating and cooling system. You’ll be rewarded with a more comfortable home, lower energy bills and a longer life for your ductless system!