In the last blog we talked about ways to increase effiveness and efficiency of your DHP. We continue with the discussion here with not just ways to use your DHP, but things to keep in mind and understand about your DHP.
6. Know your zones and live zonally
It is very likely that your DHP can provide efficient heating and cooling to more than just the room in which it is located. The total area served by the DHP is called the "effective zone". In general, a larger effective zone will allow the DHP to provide more benefit to you by efficiently heating more of your house. Depending on the size of your DHP, your comfort needs, and the configuration of your home, you may be able to increase the size of the effective zone by opening doors between rooms and increasing the output of the DHP (see #5 above). If you prefer that an adjacent room not be conditioned, you could keep that door closed.
7. Let the heat pump work
To maximize the benefits of your DHP, it should be used as the primary heating system in the effective zone. Try the following strategies:
a. Set the existing/other heating system to operate as "back-up"
The existing/other heating system in the effective zone should be used primarily as a "back-up". This is best achieved by setting the thermostat(s) of the existing heating system well below the DHP thermostat setting. If back-up heating is required, it will automatically kick-in to keep your house from getting too cold.
b. In severe weather, make adjustments to provide continued comfort
During severe weather, the DHP may not be able to provide desired comfort levels to all areas of the effective zone. To maintain comfort in these cases, you should temporarily:
increase the thermostat setting on your existing electric heating device(s) as needed; and/or
reduce the size of the effective zone by closing doors to unused portions of the house
8. Clean the filters regularly
Cleaning the filters is essential for your DHP to work, and it's easy! Ideally you'll clean them every two weeks. Simply, open indoor unit, remove filters, vacuum off dust/dirt, place filters back in unit and close unit. Dirty filters will reduce energy efficiency and overall effectiveness of your DHP.
9. Understand the defrost function
Heating during periods of cold weather will cause the coil on the outdoor unit to accumulate frost. When your DHP produces warm air inside, it's shooting out cold air from the outdoor unit. So even if it may not seem that cold outside, the outside fan may need to go through a defrost cycle. To allow continued, efficient operation, your DHP is designed to "defrost" itself automatically. Some models have a light that may come on or start blinking. This is normal and you should not try to interrupt or override the defrost function. As the frost is removed from the coil, you may notice water below or around the outdoor unit. This is normal. At the end of the defrost function (typically 5 to 15 minutes), the unit should return to heating operation.
10. Get used to the sounds (and perhaps smells)
Although DHPs are remarkably quiet during operation, they do make noises. In addition to the low-level fan sound (both indoor and outdoor units), you may also hear "whirring", "clicking", "rushing fluid", etc. These sounds can be the result of thermal expansion, refrigerant movement, or mechanical parts. Many of the sounds will be similar to your fridge.
After periods of non-use, your indoor unit may emit a smell when operation is resumed. This can typically be avoided if you clean your unit regularly and dry the indoor coils after using the system in air conditioning. Some units have "coil dry" function. For other units, you may need to run the system for 30-60 minutes on fan only or in air conditioning with the temperature setting all the way up.
We hope this helps you get more comfortable with your DHP! For more information on Ductless Heat Pumps visit northwestenergyteam.com!