Don’t Mistake These Heat Pump Functions for Problems

Don’t Mistake These Heat Pump Functions for Problems

If you’re like most people, then you’ve been using a central AC or a furnace for your cooling and heating throughout your life. If you’re thinking of switching to a heat pump—whether that be a traditional kind or ductless—there are some operational differences that you should keep in mind.

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It’s not uncommon for a new heat pump owner to mistake one of these differences for an actual repair problem and insist on having someone come over to make repairs. We’ll clear up some of those misunderstandings below so that you can have total peace of mind when operating your heat pump or ductless mini-split in Nanuet, NY.


Defrost Cycle

This is a problem that you’ll only encounter during the winter months, but it’s certainly worth knowing before then. If you don’t, you might be in for a rude surprise and a false alarm.

The heat pump’s outdoor unit will drop about 10°F during its operation. Combine that with weather that’s already on the brink of becoming freezing cold… It’s not unlikely for the outdoor unit to start freezing over. At this point, the defrost cycle will kick in.

While the defrost cycle is operating, the unit will use auxiliary heating strips to melt the ice away. During this time, the heat pump will not be blowing hot air into the home. The airflow may stop, or it might feel room-temperature or just cold.

But don’t be alarmed! Give the heat pump a little over 15 minutes to complete the cycle, and it should begin blowing warm air like normal. If it has been longer than that time and the problem hasn’t corrected itself, go ahead and call in for an expert’s help.

Slower, Quieter Heating

Quieter heating certainly sounds like a benefit more than a drawback, but in truth, it can be alarming for someone who has used a furnace their whole life. For them, the noise made by the furnace was a clear indication that the furnace was working properly!

During the heating cycle, the unit will supply heat evenly and more gradually. This is a stark contrast to the intense blast of air that furnaces provide. Nonetheless, it’s not uncommon for this issue to make homeowners to believe that their heat pump is broken or isn’t heating as thoroughly as their old furnace.

Accidentally Turning On Emergency Heating

Some brands of heat pumps may have trouble operating efficiently in extremely cold weather. During this time, the heat pump will automatically turn on an auxiliary heating mode that helps make up the difference so that you won’t feel any less warm.

However, some homeowners have mistakenly believed that this feature must be turned on manually. This leads them to turn on the emergency heating function, which uses auxiliary heating only. This is an expensive way to run your heat pump and can cause a big spike in your normal heating bill!

If you have any questions about using your heat pump, or if you’re thinking of installing one, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a professional. Contact EB Design Air Inc. today!