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Winter is approaching quickly. Do you know how your heat pump vancouver wa system runs in winter? We live in a moderate climate, but snow and weather that dips below 32 degrees is still possible. Understanding how the cold weather impacts your heat pump will allow you to run your system efficiently and know when there is a problem.

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Snow and Debris

Winter storms can blow debris and snow up against heat pumps vancouver wa. Make sure to clear any debris and snow from around your heat pump. Your heat pump needs to have room for airflow in order to run efficiently. Debris can block air flow and cause your system to run less efficiently, which can increase your utility bills.

Efficiency in Cold Weather

Heat pumps vancouver wa work by pulling heat out of the outdoor air and moving the heated air throughout your home through duct work. No matter what the temperature heat pumps can continue this process. However, the efficiency of this process depends on the outdoor temperature. Your heat pump system vancouver wa will become less efficient at heating your home when its below 32 degrees.

Back Up Heat/Emergency Heat

How often should heat pump run in winter? Since heat pumps become less efficiency below 32 degrees, we recommend installing a gas furnace with a heat pump. This set up is called a dual fuel system since you have the option for electric and gas heat. If your heat pump is having trouble heating your home on a very cold day, you can turn on your gas furnace. This mode is called “Emergency Heat”; it is more expensive so keep in mind that running it in this mode too much will increase your utility bills. You can change the heating modes of operation for your system on your thermostat.

Defrost Mode

Has your heat pump ever been in defrost mode? Don’t worry! This is normal during the winter time. When the temperature is below 32 degrees, ice may build up on your outdoor unit. Your heat pump will  use the heat it pulls from the outdoor air to melt the ice instead of cool your home. This is called defrost mode. It should only last a short while. If it happens often or for long periods of time, you should call a Local Heating Company WA to look at it.

Preventative Maintenance

Prepare your heat pump for winter weather by scheduling an annual maintenance with a Local Heating Company WA. Over 90% of mechanical breakdowns of heating equipment is due to dirt. During an annual maintenance, a trained technician will clean your system, make recommendations to improve efficiency and perform a safety inspection. An annual maintenance keep any manufacturer warranties you have active. In addition, make sure to change your filter out frequently in order to keep the air flow free from blockage. Click here to learn how often you should change your filters.

About Miller’s Heating & Air: Miller’s Heating & Air, your Local Heating Company WA, that has been serving Vancouver, WA and North Portland, OR since 1947. Miller’s services includes repair, maintenance, replacement and/or installation, duct cleaning, duct sealing and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).  Call us at 360-524-2880 for any of your heating and cooling needs or to request an appointment online.

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