When it comes to getting the most from your heat pump, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A little proactive care prolongs the system’s service life and safeguards your budget against unexpected repairs and replacements. Heat pump maintenance also helps ensure you stay comfortable indoors no matter what weather comes your way. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do to maintain your heat pump in good condition.
Change the Filter
There’s no argument that the lowly filter isn’t the most sophisticated HVAC component. Don’t be fooled by its relatively simple design. Filters play a critically important role in heat pump longevity, efficiency and performance. Filters clogged with dirt obstruct airflow, forcing the system to run longer to keep you comfortable. Making sure it’s clean can lower your heat pump’s energy consumption by 15%.
The added wear and tear a dirty filter causes to critical components also shortens the system’s lifespan. You’ll save money now and later by checking the filter frequently and changing it at the first sign of dirt.
Check the Outdoor Unit
Heat pumps work by extracting heat from the air and moving it elsewhere. Housing both the compressor and the condenser, the outdoor unit of your heat pump is where a lot of this heat transfer happens. Air balancing is an important part of this process. For proper operation, the equipment needs room to breathe. Make sure nothing blocks the airflow. Trim back plants and overhanging trees to keep vegetation at least 2 to 3 feet away.
Like a car’s radiator, the grill of metal fins on the outdoor unit helps dissipate the generated heat into the outdoor air. Keep the area around the unit free of debris, leaves and pine needles to prevent them from clogging the fins.
Clear the Condensate Line
Your heat pump keeps you cool all summer by removing heat from the air. Water vapor also gets extracted during the process, which helps maintain optimal humidity levels. Your heat pump collects this moisture and drains it outdoors through a condensate pipe. You can prevent a common AC problem by inspecting the line now and then to ensure it’s not clogged. Do this while the AC is running. If the condensate line drips water, it’s fine. If not, passing a stiff wire through the channel may fix the problem.
Schedule Professional Maintenance
A few DIY chores will help keep your heat pump up and running. For maximum efficiency, heat pumps need regular care from a qualified professional. At Ireland Heating & Air Conditioning, our highly trained technicians know heat pumps inside and out. Our maintenance service includes thorough assessments of your heat pump’s electrical, mechanical, control and air balancing system.
Here are just some of the maintenance tasks we perform during each service call.
- Clean, adjust and test operation of thermostats and controls
- Lubricate all moving parts, including belts, pumps and motors
- Check wiring, circuits, connections and contactors
- Check indoor and outdoor unit voltage and amperage
- Measure refrigerant charge and check for leaks
- Inspect fans, blowers and air distribution system
Preventive Maintenance Agreements
Signing up for regular maintenance is the best way to ensure your heat pump works well for as long you own it. Our maintenance program members receive a professional tune-up twice each year, typically in the spring and fall. You’ll also enjoy extra perks, including a 10% discount on parts and labor for any needed repairs.
At Ireland Heating & Air Conditioning, we believe the best thing our maintenance service offers is peace of mind. It’s reassuring to know your heat pump will come through on the hottest days and coldest nights. For more information about our proactive tune-ups, check out our HVAC maintenance section or call us today.