Handy Tips to Help Your Heat Pump Get Through the Winter

House In Winter

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Heat pumps are not a new invention. Rumor has it the first heat pump was actually constructed back in 1852 by an Irish Lord named William Thomson!

But heat pumps have been relatively slow to catch on here in Canada, where plunging winter temperatures can still exceed what most heat pumps are capable of coping with.

Here, notice we said “most.” Natural Resources Canada (NRC) currently recommends heat pumps in three regions here in Canada, one of which is Ontario.

High-performance heat pumps have the potential to reduce your winter heating costs by 50 percent or more, provided you give your heat pump what it needs to do its best work.

In this post, learn about heat pump maintenance and performance tips to get yours through the winter!

How Much Can You Save With a Heat Pump in Winter?

NRC estimates that by switching from an electric furnace to an electric air-source heat pump, the most common and economical heat pump type, you can trim up to 50 percent off heating bills.

What might that look like, exactly? How much could you potentially save? Let’s find out!

According to Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office (FAO), the average Ontarian homeowner spends about $2,358 per year on home energy costs.

NRC tells us that approximately 61 percent of that energy gets spent on heating the home in winter, or about $1,438.

Divide that by two and you get $719, which is what your heating bill could be if you convert to an air-source heat pump.

NOTE: While we won’t look at the potential cost savings of a water or geothermal heat pump here, you can expect your savings to be quite a bit higher with these options once you have recouped your up-front investment costs.

Heat Pump Perks No Other Systems Can Match

In this time of decreasing natural resources and increasing efforts to conserve what we have, heat pumps are finally coming into the limelight as one of the most efficient, eco-friendly, renewable ways to heat and cool a space.

Even better, high-efficiency integrated heat pumps can heat and cool your space and also heat your water for up to 50 percent less than a traditional hot water heater, making them a triple force in sustainable living.

Here, the option to install one integrated appliance rather than three separate appliances is a win not just in energy efficiency and cost savings but also in space savings.

But modern heat pumps also come with additional features you won’t find in any other type of heating system:

  • Four times quieter to operate than their predecessors.
  • Kid-safe and pet-safe – no hot surfaces anywhere on the exterior of the unit!
  • Combustion-free operation means better air quality from the start.
  • Cleaner, fresher air also means odour-free home air without the use of toxic air fresheners.
  • The inbuilt air filtration system makes allergy and asthma sufferers (and everybody) happy.

Heat Pump Maintenance Is Simple and Quick

Heat pumps love preventative maintenance just like any other HVAC or hot water system, but they also need precious little of it to stay in fine functioning form.

These are the basics of what your heat pump needs from you to sail through the winter (and the summer, and every season in between):

Clean the air filter

The air filter is the biggest single indoor air quality aid your heat pump comes with, so you really want to keep it squeaky clean and functioning well.

Some heat pumps come with a reusable filter that just needs cleaning, while others have single-use disposable filters. In either case, you will want to check the filter at least once every 30 days, especially during high-use periods.

Clean the coils

Heat pump coils can get dusty and dirty just like traditional HVAC coils. When the coils start to accumulate debris, your efficiency gains start to decrease.

It is important to inspect and clean both the inside and outside sets of coils at least every 30 days during high-use periods.

Clean air registers and vents

Your air registers and vents should always remain clean and unobstructed by furniture, walls or furnishings.

Clean your ducts

Over time, ducts get clogged up with debris including dirt, dust, dust mites, pollen, microbes, mould, mildew, insect remains and other yucky stuff.

A periodic professional indoor air duct cleaning can support your heat pump to continue cleaning and filtering your indoor air so it is odour-free and healthy to breathe.

If you are not keen to clean your heat pump’s coils and filter yourself, remember that your Shipton’s technician will do this for you when you schedule an annual heat pump professional tune-up maintenance and safety inspection.

Check refrigerant levels

Heat pumps use refrigerant to conserve and transfer heat energy as they do their work. Refrigerant should be inspected and, if necessary, replenished only by an HVAC professional since it can be toxic if handled improperly.

Give the system a safety check and service tune-up

Home fires are most common in winter and their most common cause is heating equipment malfunctions.

Annual professional preventative maintenance can ensure your heat pump is operating safely and at full efficiency. A heat pump safety check will also include inspecting the electrical connections, cords and outlets.

Scheduling this simple, fast preventative maintenance tune-up and inspection can also catch small electrical or mechanical issues and correct them before they have the chance to become expensive major outages.

Get in Touch

Have you scheduled your winter preventative HVAC maintenance and inspection? If not, our customer service team is standing by to take your call!

Be sure to ask about our money-saving, time-saving annual maintenance protection plans. Each plan comes jam-packed with savings and extra perks.

Contact us online or give us a call at 905-549-4616.

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