Winter is officially here! The shorter days and longer nights mean our heat pump is probably getting as much use as it did during the summer, especially with the current cold spell we’ve been experiencing in Mesa, AZ. A lot of our customers frequently ask us, “How long should my heat pump run?”
The run time is determined by two things: (1) the set point and (2) the type of thermostat that you have in your home.
The set point
In the summer months, the unit will typically run more and when we have extreme temperatures, it may not even cycle off. We usually size our units to keep the temperature at 75° when it’s 108° outside. As long as the set point remains in place, the unit should operate efficiently.
The type of thermostat
Older thermostats used a temperature gap of 2°, which meant if the thermostat was set to 76°, it would turn on at 78° and off at 74°. The newer thermostats use just a .5° gap and tend to cycle more often than the older models.
If you are traveling this winter, we advise you to keep your heat pump on while you are away. Many homeowners are surprised to learn that you don’t save on utility bills when powering off the system, as the heat pump will need to work twice as hard when you turn it back on. This can be more costly and cause a strain on your HVAC unit. Instead, we recommend a set point of between 3 and 5 degrees higher than normal when you are heading out of town.
If you are also thinking about replacing your thermostat, consider looking into a Wi-Fi enabled option. This will maximize the amount of control you have on your heating system and it’s a cost effective way to save on energy while ensuring your home is at a comfortable, controlled temperature.
If you are unsure about the efficiency of your heat pump, give John’s Refrigeration a call. We’d be happy to answer your questions.