Understanding a Heat Pump Balance Point

Understand Heat Pump Balance Point | AdvancedHeatingPDX.comHeat Pump systems are the most efficient heating systems on the market, and proper maintenance, service and installation is essential in keeping those utility costs as low as possible and keeping your system operating for years to come. In the Pacific Northwest most Heat Pumps will heat your home properly down to around 40 degrees depending on the heat load of your house and the size of your heating system. As the outdoor temperature drops, the output of your heat pump drops as well, while the heat requirement of your house increases.

At some point (around 40 degrees) these two requirements match and this is called your balance point. Your heat pump system now needs help and it turns on your auxiliary heating elements located in your air handler to help heat your home. Typically your auxiliary heating elements are locked out at temperatures above 40 degrees, and just the heat heat pump heats your home while below 40 degrees the heat pump and auxiliary heating elements operate together

Not all heat pump systems are wired this way some are wired in conjunction with your 1st stage heat (Heat Pump), and your auxiliary heating elements come on with your heat pump Example: You set your thermostat at 70 degrees and the temperature of your house is 65 degrees, that’s a 5 degree split. Your heat pump and your auxiliary heating elements both come on till your house reaches about 68 degrees (2 degrees of your set point) then your auxiliary heating elements turn off and your Heat Pump takes over from here.

Systems installed with a outdoor sensor that have the auxiliary heating elements locked out typically save a customer 25-35% off your homes heating bill annually. Knowing how a Heat Pump system works while maximizing its efficiency, is key to properly servicing and installing a heat pump system thus saving you money on your home heating costs.


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