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Tips for Running Your Heat Pump This Winter

Heat pumps are more efficient and environmentally friendly than traditional heating systems and work really well in the cold, but they do require proper care and attention to ensure that they run optimally throughout the winter months.

Tip 1. Protect Your Outdoor Unit

While our winters are nowhere near as cold as Scandinavia, UK winters can bring snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Regularly check and clear any snow or significant ice buildup around the outdoor unit to maintain optimal airflow.  In general, it is good practice to check that the air inlet and the outlet grill are free from debris and dust.   Taking down your Christmas tree and stacking it in front of the heat pump before you dispose of it is not a good plan!

Tip 2. Optimise Temperature Settings

Don’t switch your heat pump off, particularly in very cold weather.  If ice builds up on the unit, the heat pump needs to be able to run a defrost cycle to clear it.

If you do go on holiday, set your thermostat down at most 2 –3 degrees.

In general, setting your thermostat at an optimal temperature is the first step in efficient heat pump operation. Aim for a comfortable yet energy-conscious temperature range, such as 18-20 degrees Celsius. Avoid frequent adjustments, as this can lead to increased energy consumption and reduced performance. Instead, opt for a consistent setting to maintain comfort.

Keep in mind that during colder periods, it may take longer for the heat pump to reach the desired temperature and don’t be surprised if you see big clouds of steam coming out of your heat pump – it is just running a defrost cycle. In cold, damp weather this might run twice an hour.

Tip 3. Have your Heat Pump Serviced Regularly

Annual maintenance checks will ensure that your heat pump is in prime condition. This includes cleaning or replacing air filters, inspecting coils, and checking refrigerant levels. Professional maintenance helps prevent breakdowns and ensures your heat pump operates efficiently.

Tip 4. And lastly, some general advice that is common sense, but still worth mentioning. Ensure that curtains do not cover radiators, as these would prevent the heat entering the room efficiently. 

Stay warm and eco-friendly with these tailored tips for running your heat pump this winter.

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