A heat pump is by far one of the most efficient types of home heating systems that you can pick for your home. For the most part, these systems will operate fairly consistently and use reliable amounts of energy. Therefore, if you experience a spike in your home energy bills, it is definitely a sign that there is something going on, but it may not always be what you think. Take a look at some of the common causes of a spike in energy costs with a heat pump system.
The temperatures outside have been really cold for a long period.
As the temperatures outside change and it grows colder, a heat pump is not as capable of pulling as much warm air from the outdoors to bring into the house. If you see a spike in your home heating bills and you have a heat pump, make sure you look at the average temperature during that billing period. A heat pump is designed to operate at its most efficient when the temperature outside is above freezing. When temperatures dip below a certain point for extended periods, the heat generated will be generated from an integrated electric heating coil.
You have your thermostat set on emergency heat.
When you have a heat pump installed in your house, your thermostat will have a setting for emergency heat. A lot of homeowners wrongly make the assumption that they should automatically use this emergency heat setting if it gets too cold outside. However, using emergency heat, which may also be shown as 'EM heat' on the thermostat, is something that should only be done in a true emergency when the heating system is not otherwise functional.
Your heat pump's exterior unit is improperly placed outside.
If the heat pump you are using is not situated in the proper place during installation, it can bring about problems later on with spikes in heating bills. If the unit is in a place where it will be in the direct path of freezing wind, it can cause issues with the defrosting system of the unit that allows warm air to continue to be pulled indoors. In some areas, the exterior unit of the heat pump must be placed in a protective enclosure just so the unit will function properly.
Overall, if you are seeing a spike in the price that you usually pay to keep your home warm, it is definitely a sign that there's something wrong with your heat pump. Reach out to an HVAC specialist like Biggerstaff Plumbing Heating & Air for more information.