When you’re sweltering in the house on an August afternoon, relief might be right in front of you, if you have a heat pump. That same unit you use to heat your home in winter can be switched to cooling mode in summer and become an air conditioner. It’s energy efficient and practical.

During summer, when you set your heat pump to the cooling cycle, the unit transfers heat out of your home. It’s the reverse of how the system works in winter. During the cooling cycle, the heat pump also dehumidifies the indoor air. Cooler, less humid air makes your home more comfortable.

Benefits of using a heat pump for cooling

No need for a portable or central air conditioning system. The heat pump that heats your home during winter can be switched to air conditioning or cooling mode in summer. One unit with year-round benefits.

  • A heat pump costs less to operate than a typical window AC unit. Heat pumps are up to 50% more efficient for cooling than a typical AC unit.
  • During the cooling cycle, the heat pump also dehumidifies the indoor air. Humidity can make warm air feel even warmer. Reduced humidity and cooler air will make you more comfortable.
  • A heat pump on cooling mode is quiet. No need to hear that air being cooled, you just want to feel it.
  • Save with rebates. You could be eligible for rebates from NB Power, and the federal government, when you install a heat pump.

How to use your heat pump for air conditioning in summer

Heat pumps are very efficient at cooling and can be up to 50% more energy efficient than a typical window AC unit. Follow these tips to stay cool and comfortable using your heat pump during summer.

  • Set it at your comfort zone and leave it there. Heat pumps work best when holding a steady temperature so find the temperature you're most comfortable with and try to minimize changes. Frequent setting changes may cost you more and impact the efficiency of the unit.
  • Don’t set the temperature too low.  23-26 degrees in cooling mode is usually more than adequate for comfort.  Particularly since the heat pump also dehumidifies the air.  This will save you energy and make the temperature change with the outdoors feel less extreme.
  • Set to "cool" mode (not “auto” mode). The cooling mode on your heat pump is the most efficient way to maintain a comfortable temperature. Set it to “cool” mode, select your desired temperature, and leave it there.
  • Change your filters regularly to keep your unit working efficiently. A dirty filter will reduce air flow, making your system work harder to keep you comfortable. Because filters collect dust and pollen, changing them regularly will also improve indoor air quality.
  • Service your unit twice a year. Have your unit cleaned and maintained to keep it working efficiently, for longer.

Be smart about when you use air conditioning

Heat pumps are efficient for cooling but they still require energy to operate. To reduce your energy use for cooling in summer, follow these tips.

  • Use curtains or blinds to keep the sun from heating your home. Close windows during the day to keep cooler air in the house and hot air out.
  • Open windows in the evening to help cool rooms. A fan positioned in an open window will help draw cooler air in.
  • Turn off the heat pump when you’re not home.

Is a heat pump better than an air conditioning unit?

There are many reasons why a heat pump is a better option for cooling your home compared to an air conditioning unit. Aside from the fact that a single heat pump covers your heating and cooling needs, a heat pump on air-conditioning mode is also quiet (unlike many window-mounted air conditioning units). A heat pump operating in air conditioning mode uses less energy than a stand-alone air conditioning unit. Although a heat pump is more expensive up front than an air conditioning unit, you could be eligible for a rebate when you install a heat pump.

More ways to stay cool in summer

Did you know that insulation in your home helps to keep the heat out in summer the same way it keeps the cold out in winter? An overheated home in summer could be a sign that your insulation needs updating.

A home energy audit will help you identify any insulation requirements and other opportunities for making your home more efficient. You could be eligible for rebates on any efficiency updates you make. Find out more.

With a heat pump you get two systems in one: efficient heating in winter and refreshing air conditioning in summer. It’s an investment with year-round benefits.

Stay cool and save energy. Inquire today if you’re eligible for a heat pump rebate.