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What is the suggested temperature setting for a heat pump in the winter?  In the summer?

In the winter, we recommend a temperature setting that is comfortable for your household.  Once your thermostat is set, the best policy is to leave it alone.  Raising the thermostat as little as 2 degrees F may cause the supplementary heat to come on, thereby increasing your energy usage.  In the summer, a setting of 78 degrees F or higher is recommended for cooling.  For each degree you set the temperature below 78 degrees F, you will increase your cooling energy usage approximately three percent.

What are some ways to help control my heating and cooling costs?

Once the thermostat is set, it should be left alone.  However, programmable thermostats are commonly installed on systems to setback the house temperatures while you are away from your home.  The air filters inside the system need to be checked, cleaned, or changed each month.  Precision Tune Up checks should be performed which include refrigerant level checks and indoor/outdoor coil inspections (cleaning, if needed).

How often should I change filters?

Inspect each month and change or clean filters as needed.  Time intervals frequently vary with each family.  The most important aspect of efficient operation of your heating and cooling system is proper air flow.  Dirty air filters will severely limit air flow, which can cause the compressor to run continuously or overheat your heat exchanger.  Dirty filters could cause a 20 percent or more increase in operating costs.

Why does my outdoor unit have ice buildup during the winter?

Under certain weather conditions, the outdoor unit will develop ice buildup.  When the unit defrosts this ice, it gives off water vapor, which appears to be smoke.  If excess ice builds up on the outdoor unit after more than 90 minutes elapsed time, switch emergency heat to “on” and call your heating and cooling contractor if the condition does not clear.

What is the service life of the heat pump and the compressor?

The average service life of the heat pump is 15 to 20 years.  The average service life of the compressor is approximately 10 to 15 years.

What is this thing called SEER?

SEER is an acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.  The seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) of your heat pump or air conditioning unit is to these pieces of equipment as miles per gallon (MPG) is to cars.  It is a measure of the air conditioning performance of the system, where the higher rating is better.

What is this thing called H.S.P.F.?

H.S.P.F. = Heating Seasonal Performance Factor.  The heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) is a measure of heat pump heating performance.  Like the SEER rating, it is similar to the miles per gallon (MPG) of your automobile…the higher, the better.  HSPF is the best way to judge how efficient a heat pump is.