The days are darker, it’s getting colder, and the temptation to run the heat pump at full blast might be growing. After all, they're a low-cost and efficient way to heat your home.

Tempting though it might be, blasting your heat pump will add to the numbers on your electricity bill, but it also adds to your carbon footprint, according to EECA. Housing expert Gareth Gretton says it’s easy to run your heat pump the smart way.

Make sure it's clean

Just like cleaning the filter in your dishwasher or washing machine can help it run more efficiently, cleaning the filter inside your heat pump can make a real difference to how well it works. You should give your filter a good clean as we head into the cold season, and ideally clean your heat pump filters once a month during winter. You can always clean them more frequently if they’re particularly dirty.

Know your temperatures

How do you get a warm, dry home without churning through power? There is a middle point that'll help you with both. Set your heat pump temperature to 18 degrees or above to help fight damp and mould, but below 21 degrees to save on power. The higher the temperature, the more energy the heat pump will use, so anywhere between 18 and 21 is the sweet spot.

Spend more time on your couch

It might sound obvious, but heat pumps use the most energy when they’re getting a room up to a set temperature. So spending more time in the space your heat pump is in will help you make the most of the energy you’re using. Often, that’s in the living room, which is also conveniently where our couches, TVs, and magazines live. You can close the doors to any rooms you don’t use too, to make sure they’re not stealing some of the warmth.

Don't run your heat pump constantly

A lot of people believe that keeping a heat pump running 24/7 is an efficient, cost-effective way to heat their home. But in fact, that idea is actually a myth. When you do that, you’re actually using more energy and losing more energy overall, so it’s much better to just run your heat pump when you’re at home. Doing that will also save you money on your electricity bill.

Got a timer? Use it

If your heat pump has a timer, you can set it to turn on just before you get home or before you wake up in the morning. Doing that also means you’ll be less tempted to crank the heat pump at a high temperature when you get home to a cold house, or wake up in one.

If you don’t have a heat pump but you’re looking to buy one, check out our guide to choosing a heat pump for tips on what to look for, including energy star rating, locations, and size. For more tips visit the Gen Less website.

Get more home heating tips

How to heat your home efficiently(external link)