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Vacation Home Heat Pump setting when away


We have a vacation home in central Missouri. I have installed a Remote Internet Thermostat (Bay Web).

In the interest of economy, I keep the house at 55* when we are not there in the winter. This is a house we use year-round, but its an every 2 weeks we are there for the weekend type thing. I set the t-stat at 55* for 10 to 12 days then 70* for 2 days etc.

I am wondering if this is to low of a setting, my brother in law, has the house next door, similar size house, EXACT same size & model Trane Heat pump, he keeps his at 65*.

He reported that he installer told him to never turn the temp down past 65* because it was hard on the heat-pump,& was not as efficient as 65*. Now mind you, this was installed in 1999, & this is mid Missouri, where there are a lot of "old wise tails" we have the same installer, but that was never mentioned to me. The heating usage seems high to me, I can track it on the Bay Web, & our electric bill seems high also.

The unit didn't seem to have any trouble cooling the house last summer even though we had record heat for a long time, so i'm not inclined to think it needs servicing, so I thought I would pose this to the wall for help.

Thank You for your input

Winter Park, CO & Lenexa, KS


  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,367
    Keep it at 65+

    A heat pump is designed to operate with 70* indoor temperature. Setting it substantially below that will cause the head pressure to be too low in heating which will also cause the suction pressure to be too low. This will lead to defrost problems, refrigerant flood back or poor oil return. Simply put, it will greatly shorten compressor life.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,718
    I have

    A beach house with a 2 ton heat pump. Installed also I think in 1999. We are away as long as 3 months at a time. I keep mine set at 42*F. We have outdoor senser so the electric heat won't run unless it's below 30*F. The only problem is it takes a good long while to heat the place back up and I bypass my outdoor senser when we go down in the winter untill the house is up to temp. But hey thats what bars are for. Electric bill for the time when we are away for a few months normally around $30.00 $40.00 bucks. Now my HP is a hi eff. with both indoor and outdoor TXV. The only thing I have done to that unit was change a run cap last summer. 
  • Tim Potter
    Tim Potter Member Posts: 264
    edited March 2013
    Ok, thank you for the replys

    So to be specific, we have a Trane XE1200 Heat pump, not sure if its TXV or not. I tried to look up info from internet, but was unable to find specific info for my system.

    Is there any kind of 'rule of thumb' that apply's to heating costs at 55* vs 65* ???

    eg: it costs 25% more to heat to 65 vs 55 or is it more like 10% increase

    Thanks again for the input

    PS: Unclejohn:

    The long reheat time is why we use the BayWeb to get the house warmed up before we get there, along with power out & freeze up warnings. It saved us on a boiler out issue in Colorado Last winter. Without the BayWeb, we never would have known the aqua-stat had failed......... Until we arrived 3 weeks later

    Winter Park, CO & Lenexa, KS
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