Perhaps due to the word “heat” in their name, many people are confused about whether heat pumps work in the summer.
Consequently, many people are surprised to learn that not only do heat pumps work year-round, but they also provide efficient, effective cooling in the summer.
This leads many to still wonder, how does a heat pump work in summer?
During the summer months, heat pumps work by transferring heat from the inside of your home to the outside. Heat pumps use a coil and fan, where the coil functions as a condenser. It uses refrigerant, which absorbs heat and pushes it outside, making your home cooler.
Regardless of the type of model you have, your heat pump will go through a similar process, making your home cooler.
Below we dig deeper into how heat pumps work during the summer and the many benefits:
How Heat Pumps Work
Heat pumps are, in a sense, reversible air conditioners that transfer heat either inside or outside your home. There are two types of heat pumps: air-source heat pumps and ground-source (or geothermal) heat pumps. Air-source heat pumps pull heat from the air inside and outside your home, whereas ground-source models pull heat from the ground outside your home and the air inside. When installing a heat pump system, you will require an indoor and an outdoor unit, similar to a ductless mini-split AC system.
Unlike furnaces, heat pumps do not burn fuel to generate heat. Consequently, they do not rely on natural gas or other fuel sources to run. This is what makes them more energy-efficient than traditional heating systems. While they use electricity, their power requirements are still less than a conventional furnace or boiler system.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Heat Pump This Summer
Though more commonly associated with heating in the winter, heat pumps are an excellent cooling option in the summer. Even in humid climates like ours, heat pumps perform well and can keep your home comfortable all season long. In fact, because they are so energy efficient, when relying on your heat pump year-round, you will likely save money on your monthly utility bills. You also don’t have to worry about heatwaves or sudden spikes in summer temperatures – heat pumps continue to cool efficiently even in high heat.
Tip #1: Do Not Rely on “Auto” Mode
Though “auto” mode is convenient and will allow your heat pump to switch back and forth between heating and cooling automatically, this can cause your system to run more often. This will require more power and end up costing you money. Meanwhile, as seasons change, your heat pump will try to work overtime to keep your home comfortable. This means that it may be cooling during the day, and then when the temperature drops at night, it’ll switch to heating mode. For most people, this back and forth between heating and cooling is unnecessary.
Instead, when you know you will not require heating for the rest of the season, switch the heat pump to its cooling mode and vice versa. Relatedly, you may find that the auto fan feature is too much, and you can therefore manually set the fan to a lower setting, keeping your home comfortable while using less power.
Tip #2: Keep Your Thermostat Settings Stable
With a conventional HVAC system, many people adjust their thermostat throughout the day and often change the temperature setting when they are away. While this is beneficial with traditional systems and can help them run more efficiently and save you money, you don’t have to do this with a heat pump. In fact, constantly changing the temperature on your thermostat can cause your heat pump to use more energy in the long run. It is better to set a comfortable temperature and then forget about it.
Tip #3: Have Your Heat Pump Serviced Yearly
Like all HVAC appliances, it is important that you schedule annual maintenance with a professional heat pump specialist, like ours at Donmar Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. In addition to thoroughly inspecting your unit, we will change filters, clean both the inside and outside unit, and confirm that your system operates at peak efficiency. If we uncover any repair issues, we will provide you with your repair options and help you get your system back up and running in no time.
To learn more about heat pumps or to schedule your annual heat pump maintenance in Sterling, contact our office today. We are standing by.
For more tips on keeping your home cool without spending a fortune, review our blog post here.