Given that heating and cooling accounts for around 40% of the energy used in Australian homes, it's essential to maximise your heating system's efficiency. Heat pumps are incredibly efficient heating systems because of the technology they use for residential heating. Instead of generating heat, these units gather heat from the ambient air and warm the indoor air. Although heat pumps are efficient, you can take the following steps to further increase their efficiency and lower your annual heating costs. 

Prepare your heat pump for winter

A well-maintained heating system is reliable and efficient. Therefore, before the onset of winter, prepare your heat pump for the season. Heat pump technology is widely used in reverse-cycle air conditioners. Thus, if you use your reverse-cycle AC for winter heating, you need to carry out some maintenance tasks before the start of winter.

Below are some maintenance tasks to maximise the efficiency of your heat pump.

  • Clean the dirty and clogged air filters 
  • For a ducted system, clean the ductwork and check for air leakage
  • Clean the outdoor and indoor units
  • Check refrigerant levels

Place a covering over your outdoor unit to protect it from debris, rainwater and ice. 

Set temperatures correctly

Constantly adjusting your heat pump temperatures does no good in the long run. The unit consumes more energy to meet your heating demands, which can lead to higher utility costs. Similarly, cranking up the heat pump doesn't mean it will work any faster. Instead, you will strain the unit's compressor and force the heating system to consume more energy. Therefore, set your heat pump to around 20 to 22 degrees Celsius — this is the sweet spot that maximises indoor comfort and energy efficiency.

Preheat rooms using smart controls

When you enter a cold room in your house, your first thought may be to crank up the heater to around 25 degrees Celsius to speed up the heating process. As mentioned above, this habit can affect the unit's efficiency. You can increase indoor comfort by taking advantage of your heat pump's automated controls. Modern systems come with smart thermostats you can adjust from your phone or computer. 

Preheat the rooms before getting home from work. Pre-program the thermostat to heat the spaces 20 minutes before your arrival. Once you get home, your rooms will be warm, and you won't need to overwork your heat pump. You can do the same when moving between different rooms in the house. For example, preheat your bedroom 20 minutes before going to bed for immediate comfort.

Contact an HVAC contractor for pre-season heat pump maintenance.