In January of 2024, parts of the USA experienced extremely cold weather. For those of us heating our homes with ductless heat pumps, we began worrying about our heating bills or if our ductless heat pump (DHP) will be able to produce enough heat to keep us comfortable.

Don’t worry! Here are a few tips for DHP owners about extremely cold weather:

  1. Ensure your DHP has optimal airflow. This means cleaning filters on indoor units and removing debris and snow from around the outdoor unit. During the recent cold spell, two rooms in my home had dirty filters. After cleaning them, more heated air was produced making the rooms feel comfortable again.
  2. Use your secondary heat sources. Most homes with DHPs have secondary heat sources. These can be electric heaters, a furnace or boiler, or a fireplace insert. If you feel cold during extreme weather, turn on a secondary heat source. Your DHP can work together with another source to produce all the heat you need.
  3. Close doors to any unused adjacent room(s). To match the heating needs of the room(s) in which the DHP is installed, close the door to any unused adjacent rooms. This way, you focus the heat produced by the DHP into the room where you are!
  4. You can afford to be comfortable. There are two things that new DHP owners neglect to consider which impact their feeling of cost. First, it costs relatively little to operate a DHP during the mild months. However, your power bill will be more in an extreme month. Remember, when averaged across the entire heating season, a DHP should be a low-cost heating solution. If your heating bills are consistently higher, you may be using your DHP in a way that is very expensive to operate. People who set back the temperature more than three degrees at night or when you leave the home find a DHP more expensive to operate. Instead, set a comfortable temperature and leave it. Research has shown this to be the most cost-effective way to operate a DHP.

Jonathan Moscatello is a nationally regarded expert in ductless heat pumps and a regular contributor to this publication. Check out his YouTube Channel “Heat Pump Nation” for more great info.