Tips to Keep Your Heat Pump in Good Condition
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Have you taken your HVAC – Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems for granted? Just because they are working fine now doesn’t mean that they don’t need regular maintenance. If you want them to be in good working order, you need to take care of the HVAC system. Many homeowners have a heat pump installed to handle the cooling and heating needs. Read on to learn about how you can keep your heat pump in good condition.
What is a heat pump?
Let’s start by getting a basic understanding of how a heat pump works.
Heat pumps operate by transferring heat from inside to the outside during the summer season and from outside to the inside during the winter season. They are quite popular in areas that have milder temperatures. Since they don’t generate heat by consuming propane, natural gas, or electricity, they are energy efficient. In fact, they can reduce your electricity usage by almost 50% as compared to baseboard heating units or furnaces. Thanks to technological advancements, today, you can buy high-efficiency units that operate well in climates with extreme temperatures. But, in order to ensure that they work well for a long time, you need to take a few measures:
Start by ensuring that your heat pump is properly installed. Every now and then, double-check the requirements. The first thing that you have to make sure of is that your heat pump is about four to six inches up from the group. This way, it allows for proper drainage and the heat pump is not obstructed by the ground. Second, the heat pump should not be under a leaking gutter. In case your gutter starts leaking after you had your heat pump installed, you need to prioritize its repair.
Changing air filter
This is an easy yet most important maintenance task for a heat pump. Like in all HVAC systems, the heat pump’s air filter cleans the cooled or heated air before delivering it to your room or outside. A basic air filter removes large particles of dirt and dust floating through the air. If you buy a high-efficiency filter such as the HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air), it will remove even the smallest particles like pollen, dust mites, and pet dander. With clean air filters, you will not only get better air quality but an efficiently working heat pump as well. This will result in a longer lifespan of the equipment and lower energy bills.
Plenty of room
In case your heat pump gets covered in yard debris, overgrown plants, ice or snow, it will start to malfunction. So, inspect the area around the heat pump every season. During the winter season, if snow accumulates on the unit, you should remove it immediately. You can start by pouring some warm water on the unit to melt the ice. Make sure that you don’t use any tool for chipping off the snow, as it can damage the heat pump as well. In other seasons, keep grass, weeds, and other growths out of the way and trimmed. You also have to take care of other things like stray branches, yard debris, fallen leaves, etc.
When you want to wash the heat pump during the warmer weather, you should use a garden hose and not a power washer. The heat pump coil’s fins are delicate and a strong jet of water can damage them easily. It is also important to keep your unit clean on the outside.
Adjust the thermostat properly
When you are adjusting the thermostat, especially during the winter season, don’t make a big jump upward or downward. Sudden adjustments can result in the activation of the backup heater, which is very inefficient. It is important to remember the heat pump will be circulating air that feels relatively cool when it is out of the vent, but it is warm enough to efficiently heat your house. Unlike the gas furnace that blasts hot air inside the home for a couple of minutes and turns off, a heat pump runs for a longer time and is more cost-effective.
Take help from the professionals.
Heat pumps operate on the 240-volt circuit, which means that they are very dangerous to work on, especially for amateurs. It is best that you get your unit professionally cleaned, inspected, and tuned up at least once a year by a trained a certified HVAC Company .
If you take the help of an experienced technician for your heat pump, you can ensure that it functions well for a long period of time. They will inspect the entire heat pump system, which includes airflow, ductwork, electric terminals, thermostat, refrigerant charge, and more. Having a maintenance call regularly will ensure that your heat pump operates well in all seasons.