Heat pumps are one of the most popular ways to stay comfortable throughout the year. However, skipping your maintenance can reduce your energy efficiency by up to 25%. Taking good care of your heat pump will also help you avoid the future need for repairs and extend the lifespan of your system. Here are some of the best ways to maintain your home’s heat pump.
How Often Should Your Heat Pump Be Serviced?
While there are easy ways you can maintain your heat pump on a routine basis, you should still schedule a maintenance visit from an HVAC professional once a year. By pinpointing problems before they can worsen, you reduce the likelihood of waking up with no heat on a cold winter morning. During this service visit, the professional will inspect the heat pump to pinpoint any current or potential issues. This inspection often includes:
- Lubricating moving parts
- Clearing out the condensate drain and checking it for leaks, cracks, or problems
- Testing the controls to ensure that the system is heating and cooling correctly
- Examining the disposable or reusable air filter
- Cleaning the fan and condenser coil
- Inspecting the electrical connections and safety features to ensure safety and proper operation
Because heat pumps are complex systems, you should never attempt to perform complex inspection and repair work on your own. Professionals know how to get the job done quickly and without accidentally damaging the unit, unlike DIY-ers.
Additionally, you should call for service if you notice something different about your heat pump’s operation when you turn it on for the season. Are there any unusual noises? Is there a strange smell? A professional will be able to rapidly diagnose the issue and perform the required repairs.
Good Daily Habits Make a Difference
If you have a heat pump, there are numerous ways you can care for the system every day. Always keep debris away from your heat pump so that it has proper ventilation. There should be 18 inches of space around the indoor and outdoor units. Check your air filters once a month. If you have allergies or pets or you run your system often, you might need to also change the filters once a month. Keep all vents in your home open to allow for the best airflow.
Use the AUTO Setting on a Daily Basis
Heat pumps are different than other types of systems, as they run using thermal energy. The less of a change that there is between the temperature inside of your home and the temperature outside of it, the less energy that you will use. For the most efficiency, keep your thermostat at a stable temperature by finding the best setting for the season and leaving it there instead of constantly turning the temperature up and down.
If your heat pump has an ‘AUTO’ setting, that is where you should leave it. This means that the system will keep track of the indoor air temperature and then kick off once your home is your desired temperature. This is how heat pumps are designed to work, and it will put less strain on the system by not forcing it to run continuously. If you leave your heat pump on the ‘ON’ setting instead, the blower fan will run nonstop.
Take Extra Care in the Winter
Heat pumps are less common in homes where the temperature is below freezing for much of the winter. However, the weather can be unpredictable! If you are operating your heat pump below 40 degrees, be prepared for it to be less efficient. If it is snowing, check the outdoor portion of the unit to look for any snow or ice accumulation. These can prevent proper operation and should be removed.