Using your heat pump

Using your heat pump

The right size system for your home

This is one of the main questions people have when considering the installation of a heat pump—especially when it comes to ductless. How big a system (measured in BTUs) does your home require? How many indoor “heads” will you need to properly service your home? How many outdoor units will be required for those heads? These are questions your contractor will help you answer.


Choosing a location

Every house is different, so the best way to find out where to locate your heat pump is to have a qualified contractor visit your home. For outdoor units, the primary consideration is clean airflow through the unit. This means under deck options are not ideal. You should try to place outdoor units on the ground and away from bedrooms, so the small amount of noise they do make is not transferred to the house. For the placement of a ductless “head” unit in a room, you’ll need to consider how the air flows through the room in order to evenly distribute the heat.


Controlling your heat pump

A heat pump can be controlled by wall mounted controls, remote controls, or some models can be controlled through Wi-Fi enabled applications. You can set them on timers or adjust them manually.


Setting the temperature

Depending on the location of your ductless heat pump, you may need to set the unit’s temperature slightly higher or lower than the desired temperature in the room to find a setting that’s comfortable. Think of the temperature on your remote as a comfort setting rather than the exact temperature that you want your room. Remember: the actual temperature setting on your remote is the temperature at the indoor unit, not the air temperature in the room.

In the winter, setting the thermostat(s) of the back-up heating system at a 5°C difference below the ductless heat pump thermostat setting will achieve maximum savings. Also, never set your thermostat any lower than 10°C to keep your pipes from freezing. 


Set it and forget it

Ductless heat pumps are designed to adjust to changing conditions automatically and efficiently. Once you find a comfortable temperature setting on either “heat” or “cool” modes, avoid changing the temperature or turning the unit on and off.  We do not recommend using “auto” mode.

While each make and model has its own features, some heat pump settings are universal.


Cool mode

Use during the summer or anytime you want to cool your home. This setting also helps dehumidify. 


Dry mode

The heat pump draws moisture from the room and may cause a slight cooling effect. Use this to help dehumidify.         


Heat mode

The heat pump produces heat.


Fan mode

This mode is used to circulate the air in the room. It can also be adjusted for use in other modes.

Auto mode

When in Auto mode, the unit changes from cool to heat automatically. We recommend using either heat or cool based on the season.

Each brand of heat pump will have its own operating tips. To get the most out of your heat pump, we recommend reviewing its operation with your contractor. Once you understand your particular make and model, you’ll be able to use your heat pump effectively.


Maintenance you can perform.

Like all heating and cooling systems, proper maintenance is key to getting the most out of your heat pump.

Ductless heat pumps require some basic maintenance to ensure optimum performance. In most cases keeping the filters and coils clean is all that’s needed, and can be performed easily by the homeowner. Keeping the outdoor unit clear of snow, ice, leaves, and debris is also important to ensure the heat pump is working as efficiently as possible. Snow should be cleared from the front, sides and back of the outdoor unit.  It is also very important to clear snow underneath the unit so it does not cause ice buildup when it goes through its normal defrost cycle. Turn off power to the inside unit and clean the filters regularly. Dirty filters may reduce the performance of the heat pump.

Click here for more information on heat pump maintenance.

Maintenance your contractor may offer 

Always check with your installing contractor to ensure that any work being done by someone other than them will not void the warranty.

  • An annual maintenance check of the complete system (recommended).
  • Clean the outdoor coils (during your annual maintenance). Dirty filters, coils, and fans reduce airflow through the heat pump’s system.
  • Replace any filters that need changing.
  • Check all electrical connections.
  • Clean evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils.
  • Inspect refrigeration lines.


Heat Pump 101: How to Take Care of Your Heat Pump

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