Understanding how to Maximize Heat Pump Efficiency

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Old 02-09-14, 10:44 PM
W
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Understanding how to Maximize Heat Pump Efficiency

I've live in an apartment for 3 years now with a Heat Pump and I still have not come up with a good answer for this question.

Now, I know that when it getss really, really cold outside (like below 0) that I have to use Em. Heat/Aux Heat so this is not the point of my question and you can ignore this scenario since I will have to use Aux Heat/Em. Heat regardless.

My question pertains to letting the HP run all day vs. setting it down and kicking it back in when I get home.

Let's say I leave at 8AM and return home at 8PM. My options are 1) to let the HP run all day in normal heating mode set at my preferred temperature of 68 degrees or 2) set it back to 62 when I leave and when I get home, kick it back up to 68.

The problem is that when I kick it up more than 2 degrees at a time, it kicks on the Aux heat which I understand costs a lot more money to run. I know this because my electric bill skyrockets in our coldest months of Jan. and Feb.

When I first moved in, the first thing I did was get myself a programmable thermostat and I set it to 70 upon waking (and then immediately turning off, I really, really hate getting out of bed and being cold but I'm ok with it being about 68 most of the time if it's not right when I wake up) and then dial it back to 62 which is the manufacturer's recommended energy savings point. Then I have it kick back up to 68 at 8 PM. While it starts to go into recovery mode about a half-hour to an hour before I get home, it always kicked into aux heat if the temperature actually dropped to 62 during the day (usually it didn't and only dropped to 65 or so but it would still kick in the aux heat).

I got so tired of fighting it, that I ended up not using the programming feature in the winter except for the morning. When I get up, i put it on perm. hold to 62 and then when I get home, I dial it up 2 degrees at a time.

I recently upgraded to a Wi-Fi thermostat that can be remotely controlled so my strategy is now to bump it up 2 degrees manually an hour before I leave work, another 2 degrees on my way out the door. another degree or so when I get to my car, and just to check it periodically on my drive home at stoplights and anytime the gap of setpoint to actual temp closes to less than 2 degrees, bump it up one more degree. But this seems like a lot of work! 1) Am I really saving that much more money by doing this over just leaving my thermostat set to 66 during the day and letting the schedule run it back up to 68 using normal heat? 2) is there a way to override the aux heat to make it not kick on and force it into regular heating? (much like I can force it into Em. Heat mode?)

Thanks for any thoughts you guys have!
 
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Old 02-10-14, 05:33 AM
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Heat pumps work best maintaining the temp. Swings, especially when it's very cold are difficult to over come and you've clearly seen this on your utility bill.
Set it and forget it.
 
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Old 02-10-14, 07:06 AM
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thanks for the reply! Would this be different if say, it gets to be a bit warmer into the 40's and 50s? Or in the summer when I'm running it as AC? Or should I continue to just set it to one temp?

And does this mean I probably won't see any savings from the $100 thermostat I bought? When I was in a conventional, the thermostat paid for itself within a year!
 
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Old 02-10-14, 07:30 AM
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40's and 50's you can probably be ok with a minor set back. As far as recovering the 100, umm.. don't know what to tell ya there.
 
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