Why isn't my heat FRACKING heat pump keeping up???!!!!

January 6, 2018

Are you home enjoying this winder wonderland? 

I'm seeing lots of social media posts about the cold but specifically, cold homes! In our region of the US this type of weather is highly unusual and the very construction of our homes aren't really designed for long term freezing conditions. 

Most of us in the Carolinas have heat pumps, a type of heating and cooling HVAC system that works most efficiently in our coastal region - good news is that means, in theory, reasonable power bills and comfortable homes and businesses. Bad news? With unusual weather patterns, we can stress our systems.

A heat pump works best with mild temperatures- so, with the temps below freezing in our part of the nation, you won't likely be able to get your home up to a balmy 72. . . many homes will likely hover in the mid 60s. If it's too cool for you in your home, there are a few other options. Consider a fire in your fireplace if that's an option. I can tell you many homes I sell years later have never had a fire in their fireplace! It's a great time to fire it up! If you don't have a fireplace, space heaters are another nice options but beware that especially those with a thermostat (i.e. the ability to shut off and on to achieve a specific temperature) can draw on your electrical system differently and can possibly cause problems with your breakers and GFCI sockets. Also, with children, animals, the generally clumsy - space heaters can catch blankets or toys on fire when not properly supervised. 

Maintenance suggestions for this short term to get you through this arctic weather, keep your filters changed regularly since your system is running almost constantly, you can use warm water (yes, literally with a pot from the stove) to de ice your outside unit- keeping it ice free is important for optimal functionality and longevity. Consider, if your don't currently have them, installing gutters around your home and especially over your heat pump to keep snow melt off the unit and divert water away from your foundation. 

Also- be kind to your favorite heating and cooling folks. Cold snaps inundate them with repairs and replacement requests. Be sure it's an actual service call you need and not simply a system struggling to compensate for unusual weather. 

It's great weather to snuggle with your favorite two and four legged friends with a good book or Netflix session to stay warm! 

Articles to read for detailed info:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_pump Wikipedia article on heat pumps