Adjusting Your Heat Pump Settings for Cold Weather

September 2, 2021

adjusting heat pump

As the cold weather strikes and temperatures drop, we turn to our ductless heat pumps to keep us warm during the seasonal change. To combat the chill from inside our homes, there are certain heat pump adjustments we must keep in mind for the coming winter.

First, be sure to double check that each indoor unit is switched from air conditioning to heating. All the indoor units attached to the same compressor must be in the same mode or the heat pumps will not work.

If you have already made this adjustment to your heat pump, listed below are other steps or possible maintenance issues to address when using your heat pump during cold weather.

Steps to take:

  • When the weather turns really cold, don’t turn down the temperature more than a few degrees at night.

  • Be sure your filters are cleaned every 6-12 weeks.

  • Make sure all units are in Heat Mode.

  • Don’t use Automatic Mode or Automatic Fan Speed.

  • When the weather turns really cold, turn up your fan speed and keep it at the highest or next to the highest speed.

  • Angle your vanes in a downward direction for heating.

  • You may need to set the temperature for at least 2-3 degrees higher than the temperature you actually want.

adjusting heat pump 2

Things You Need to Know


This is when your indoor unit appears to be idling. The fan only blows gently and doesn’t respond to remote control–requested changes to fan speed or vane angle while in Standby. This is normal and will occur whenever the unit senses it has heated or cooled the space to the temperature you requested or when you’ve just turned your system on. It can take up to 10 minutes to start blowing heat.

Two Green Lights vs. One Green Light

Your heat pump usually shows one green light in the front lower-right corner of the indoor unit when it is on. If it shows two green lights, it means the temperature you’ve set via the remote is more than 4 degrees different than the temperature near the unit (or where the temperature sensor is located if you have an external temperature sensor).

System Defrost 

When it’s really cold out, you will notice your system going through a defrost cycle periodically to keep the outdoor compressor from freezing solid. During the defrost cycle, your indoor unit will blow cold air for a couple minutes. You may also hear it make gurgling and/or popping noises, and you may see what looks like steam coming out of it. These are perfectly normal and necessary. They shouldn’t affect the overall temperature of the room.

In Closing

Whether you are a fan of sun-kissed beach days or crisp and cool sweater days, seasonal changes are inevitable. Ready or not, we have to prepare for cold weather eventually. Properly adjusting your heat pump for the cooler months will help you enjoy the greatest comfort this winter and beyond. Please give us call if you have any further questions: 360-321-4252.

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