How Cool Should the Air Be From a Heat Pump?


During the Summer months, your heat pump serves as an air conditioner to keep your home cool. As the temperature outside warms, you need your heat pump to cool your house to keep it feeling comfortable indoors. If your home feels hot and sticky, your heat pump may not be cooling properly. This could lead you to wonder just how cold should the air from your heat pump be?.

In cooling mode, air sourced heat pumps should produce cool air 15 to 20 degrees cooler than the outside temperature. Suppose it’s 85 degrees outside, and you set your thermostat to “Cooling Mode” and 72 degrees; your heat pump should produce cool air at 52 to 57 degrees until the indoor temperature cools to 72 degrees.

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Throughout this article, you’ll learn more info about heat pumps, including:

  • The temperature that it should be set to during the summer
  • How long it takes to cool down the house
  • The operating details of heat pumps

What Temperature Should I Set My Heat Pump in the Summer?

Summer heat can be miserable in many parts of the world. When your heat pump is working to cool your house down, it pushes out air that’s about 15 to 20 degrees lower than the set temperature. For example, if you set the meter to 70 degrees, it’ll send out 50-degree air until the room is cooled down to 70 degrees.

It does this because it’s forced to fight and pull against the temperature that’s already in your home. If the air is 90 degrees, then sending out 70-degree air will take several hours to bring it to have an ambient temperature of 70 degrees. If your system is not cooling correctly, the heat pump can run all day trying unsuccessfully to reach the 70-degree temperature.

Your heat pump temperature shouldn’t be any higher than 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) during the summer. This setting will still keep you feeling somewhat cooled off in sweltering hot weather. The most important thing to remember is that you need to keep the air circulating. Stagnant air builds humidity in your house causing it to feel sticky, causing you to sweat more.

As Bass Air points out, the way that heat pumps cool your house is simple. It starts by moving the warm air over a series of cooling coils while cycling through refrigerant. The powerful combination causes the temperature to drop drastically.

Once the air is cooled down, the heat pump sends it through your air duct system. This process sends low-degree air through all of the rooms with vents. You can adjust how quickly it cools your house down by following a few of the unique suggestions in the next section.

One of the best features of heat pumps is that they’re far more energy-efficient than most other cooling and heating appliances. You’ll notice an immediate reduction in your power bill, especially if you’re using it at the correct times of the day.

Although it might take more time, you’ll still be able to cool your house down quickly enough with a heat pump. To learn more about the estimated and exact wait times, proceed to the next section.

How Long Does It Take to Cool My House in the Summer?

The name “heat pump” might make you think that these multifunctional units only have one purpose. However, heat pumps are quite good at cooling down rooms and entire houses. The time it takes to cool your entire home depends on several factors. That being said, the expected timeframe is about 3 hours.

Let’s check out different ways to reduce your heat pump time to cool down your home below.

  • Get a high-powered fan to circulate the air faster. The Honeywell HT-900 Turbo Force Air Circulator Fan is one of the best on the market. It’s budget-friendly, easy to use, and it’ll shave off at least half an hour of cooling time from your heat pump. The low cost, combined with how long it lasts, is more than worth the investment for most people.
  • If you’re only cooling down one room, shut the vents and doors in all other rooms of the house. This process will force the cold air to stay in the living room, for example, cooling it down with all of the heat pump’s force. Keep in mind that the other rooms will stay relatively warm, though.
  • The Spruce suggests keeping your windows covered with blinds or window tint. You’ll be surprised how much heat comes in through the windows during the peak of sunlight. The heat transfer from glass is absolutely terrible, which is why your windows sometimes feel hotter than the outside temperature.
  • Remove moisture from the air with a dehumidifier. Humid air can feel warmer because it causes you to sweat, and it holds onto hot air for a long time. Get your hands on a simple dehumidifier to cut back on the moisture in the air. They also prevent mold, mildew, foul odors, and dirty carpets.
  • Clean the heat pump regularly. Just as with any other machine, your heat pump won’t operate at 100% of its potential if it’s clogged or dirty. Schedule heat pump service to check the coils and check the refrigerant levels. Don’t forget to clean the filter as recommended by your manufacturer. Dirty air ducts can also limit its cooling capabilities.

All of these suggestions will help to reduce the time it takes for your heat pump to cool your house down. With sunlight in your favor and all of these tips applied, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t see a drastic temperature drop in as little as 30 to 60 minutes.

Will Heat Pumps Run Continuously in the Summer?

Your heat pump is made to heat or cool the temperature of your house in an efficient manner. If it were running 24/7, then it wouldn’t save you any energy on the next bill. According to Galmiche & Sons, heat pumps can run continuously during the winter, but they shouldn’t keep running during the summer for more than a few minutes at a time.

One of the biggest factors in cooling efficiency is the heat pump’s SEER rating. The SEER rating, also known as the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, measures how efficiently the system cools in the summertime. The higher the rating, the more efficient the heat pump operates.

If you notice that your heat pump is always sending out cool air without stopping, then it probably has one of three problems:

  1. There’s a refrigerant leak. If so, your heat pump won’t have enough refrigerant to keep up with its demand to cool down the room. It’ll pump out warm or lukewarm air, telling its own sensors that it still has to keep pushing out more air.
  2. The temperature sensor is broken. If so, it’ll never know when it’s finally reached the desired setting. For example, if you set it to 70 degrees but the sensor is broken, the heat pump will always think that it has to keep sending out 50-degree air to cool it down.
  3. The air filter is dirty. Dirty filters are often the cause of a vast array of heat pump issues. Luckily, it’s a simple fix. When there’s a clog in the filter, it takes much longer and requires much more energy from your heat pump.

Conclusion

Heat pumps are multifunctional, working whenever you need them the most. Energy-efficiency and quick-acting cooling power combine to make one of the best HVAC systems in the world. 

Remember that you should perform regular maintenance to keep up with the heat pump. The air coming out should be 20 degrees lower than what you set it to. As long as you have it at 80 degrees or lower in the summer, you’ll be good to go!

Heat pumps can last 20 years. However, efficiency is advancing much faster. If efficiency is important to you, replacement may be desired much sooner than 20 years.

For information on how hot the air from a heat pump should be, see our article How Hot Should the Air Be From a Heat Pump.

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Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started HomeInspectionInsider.com to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.

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