Heat pumps are used for heating as well as cooling. In climatic conditions in India, Heat pump offers energy efficiently throughout the year. You can notice the heat pumps struggling when the temperature drops too low. This can be noticed in cold climates like Hilly areas and areas in North India.
An Air source heat pump works by pulling heat from the air outside and transferring this heat into your place. The outdoor unit must have ample heat to provide sufficient heating to the inside.
Winters are mild in India. In some cases, the outdoor temperature will be too cold to have an optimal operation. It has been seen that Heat Pumps do not operate efficiently when the outside temperature lies in the range of 25 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat pumps work best when the temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. That doesn’t mean that the heat pump does not work under 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it just loses its efficiency.
At 25-degree Fahrenheit your heat pump still runs, but it will take more energy to transfer the heat since the outdoor contains less heat energy. The amount of energy spent to produce 1 unit of heat will cost more than one unit of electricity.
Your outdoor condensing unit can also be iced up, airflow will be severely restricted which results may end up causing severe damage. If the ice remains for a significant period, it’s a problem you want to address quickly.
The most common solution for the frozen heat pump is running a defrost cycle. It normally turns on automatically at timed intervals or when the unit detects frost in the system. The defrost cycle reverses the heat pump into air conditioning mode so that it can pump heat to the outdoor unit until it unfreezes. The defrost cycle only runs for around 10-15 minutes and not more than that.
Then what is the alternate effective option?
You must have a backup heating system, which works when the temperature falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This backup heating system can be any other type of heating system operated only at the time when the heat pump does not offer optimal energy efficiency.
If you don’t need a high electric bill, investing in a backup system is the most efficient one. Few backup systems like a gas furnace will be more efficient and reliable and it does not cost much. Running the backup heating system when temperatures become warmer will also increase your heating costs.
Heat pumps must be configured automatically to turn on your backup heating system when it reaches a certain temperature. It should also switch back to heat pumps once the temperature climbs above. It is possible to manually switch between these systems.
If you have no easy access to fuel sources such as natural gas, the next best thing you can do is to install electric heat strips alongside your heat pump to make it efficient. These strips are heated when electric charge passes through them when the temperature is low, and therefore, can provide a supplementary source of heat.
Installation of electric supplementary heating sources will cost much less than a fuel-powered furnace; therefore, it is most likely not a good idea to install a furnace just as the backup heating system.
Reliable Heating, No Matter What!
Aspiration Cleantech Ventures, we do install energy-efficient heat pumps in commercial and industrial sectors. Contact us to learn more about the installation of heating pumps and other options to provide you with reliable heating, no matter how cold it is outside!