Your Heat Pump Has a Balance Point in Winter: Why You Should Know What It Is

One of the most valuable pieces of equipment in your home, especially in the winter, is your heating system. Heat pumps in particular are a cost-efficient source of heating for your home. However, because they work by moving heat energy from one place to another, they provide less heating to your home the colder it gets outside. When temperatures dip to near freezing or below, the heat pump’s balance point has been breached and the backup heating source kicks on. Knowing how to work out the balance point of your heat pump will help to ensure that you can stay warmer for less.

If you were to plot a graph showing the heating capacity of your heat pump and your heating requirements as the weather changes, you would see two intersecting lines, similar to an X. The point at which these lines intersect is the balance point of your heat pump. The lower the balance point, in terms of temperature, the more efficiently your heating system is working.

There are several courses of action that you can take to lower this balance point.

  • Install insulation in cavity walls, crawl spaces, under floors and in attics
  • Seal gaps in doors and windows
  • Check and repair drafts

Once you’ve considered and addressed these points, you’ll still need to prepare for when the temperature drops below the balance point. Many homes have duel fuel systems, which include a heat pump as well as a backup heating system that takes over when the heat pump is no longer efficient. These backup systems run on electricity typically, converting electrical energy into heat.

By knowing your balance point, you can set your thermostat to ensure that the backup heating system doesn’t kick in until after the temperature has dropped below that point, improving your heating system’s efficiency.

For more information on your heat pump’s balance point, or for other home comfort issues, contact T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating. We can proudly provide for all your heating, cooling and maintenance needs throughout the Long Island area.

Image via