Important Heat Pump Maintenance Tips

Important Heat Pump Maintenance TipsWhile a heat pump is an inherently efficient way to heat your home, it gives you the best performance when it’s optimally maintained. This appliance works doubly hard, since it functions as both a heating system and air conditioner. At a minimum, it needs to be professionally serviced annually, requires periodic filter changes and outdoor condenser cleaning.

What You Can Do

  • Check and change the air filter when it’s dirty. The filter keeps the parts inside the air handler clean that allows optimal airflow and keeps the parts inside it clean. All heat pumps use an evaporator coil that contains the refrigerant that both heats and cools your home. When dust covers the coil, the heat transfer process slows, and it takes it longer to condition your home.
  • Keep the outdoor condenser clean and free from landscaping debris and blockages. The condenser works summer and winter to exchange heat, and if the coils inside it are dirty or the air flowing through them is blocked, they won’t work efficiently.

Professional Servicing

During the heat pump maintenance visit, the HVAC technician will:

  • Clean, inspect and adjust the parts. The electrical parts, in particular, may need to be cleaned and tightened, which speeds the transfer of power through them, improving their efficiency. The motors may need oiling, and any belts need tightening or replacing.
  • Test the refrigerant levels. The refrigerant inside the pump carries the heat into and out of your home. It needs to be within the levels the manufacturer specifies for optimal performance.
  • Evaluate the airflow into the air handler and through the ductwork. Duct leaks undermine home comfort and increase energy costs.

If your heating bills seem too high, ask the technician about using an intelligent recovery thermostat, designed specifically for heat pumps. Without such a thermostat, it’s better to keep the temperature the same day and night rather than turn it down overnight.

Staying on top of heat pump maintenance lowers energy consumption and improves the performance and longevity of this appliance. To learn more, contact Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning, providing HVAC services for North County homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “mtkang/Shutterstock”

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29 Comments

  • I think it is smart to know your boundaries and get the pump serviced by professionals. They are ultimately going to make sure that you don’t have problems with the heat pumps. I didn’t think that airflow could cause the heat pump problems.

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  • I like what this article mentions about making sure the pump gets professional service. I am wanting to invest in a heat pump, as I think it could be better than my current furnace option. I’ll have to remember to find a technician that can service it, as well as repair it in case of damage. Thanks for the post!

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  • I just had a new air conditioning unit installed in my apartment. Your comment on checking and changing the air filter when it’s dirty is a great suggestion! I wonder how often I should check the air filter and how am I positive it’s dirty enough to clean?

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  • I just moved into a home that has a heat pump so I really appreciated this post. I didn’t realize the importance of keeping the outdoor condenser clean. I knew that air filters needed to be changed regularly, so it would make sense that work on the outdoor condenser would be necessary as well. Thanks for posting this!

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    • Thanks for the feedback!

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  • My wife and I just moved into a home that had a new heating pump installed. We want to make sure that we take good care of it, so we are trying to research some points that can help us do just that. This article has some great points on t his and I think that once we check to see if its dirty, we will call pro’s to come in and do it correctly.

    Reply
  • I appreciate your tip on checking and changing the air filter regularly. I would imagine that cleaning your filter along with regular maintenance can help keep your heat pump running smoothly. My wife and I recently moved into a home with a heat pump so we’ll be sure to clean the filter regularly.

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  • Good reminder to change the air filters regularly. Waiting too long can really slow down it’s efficiency. Thanks for sharing.

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  • Just this morning my heat pumps started to slow down for a while. The tip that mentioned about cleaning the electrical parts and tightening them has me wanting to do that. When it comes to tightening the pump, what tools would I need to use?

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  • I’m hoping to buy a new home, and I think I would like one with a heat pump. These tips helped me to understand what would be needed to make sure it runs right. How often would you suggest professional servicing the system? Also, thanks for the tip about the thermostat designed specifically for heat pumps. I’ll have to look into that.

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    • I also didn’t realize they made specialized thermostats for heat pumps. I think it is a great option for home heating and we are looking into installing a system. Hopefully, it helps make our home more efficient.

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  • Checking the air filter is a really good idea. I think it would be nice to have the filter clean because the block could cause a lot of problems. I also think it is smart to keep the condenser clean like you mentioned. That would also prevent a lot of problems.

    Reply
  • When breaking down a large roll of cast vinyl into smaller rolls, the process requires frequent line stoppages in the manufacturing process. The concern about line stoppages and product damage became an important decision maker for a company heating vinyl webs.

    Reply
  • I’ve never known how to maintain a heat pump. They’ve always just seemed so complicated, but now thanks to your article it makes a lot more sense now. I don’t think that I could repair it though, so I’ll probably just end up hiring a professional to fix it.

    Reply
  • These are great tips, I think I would feel more comfortable in working on the heat pump. I know I can change the filter myself once it gets dirty, then have a professional come and do a deep clean and service. I wonder how often I would need someone to come and service the pump?

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  • I have heard that the condensing unit on a heating and cooling unit are the same so you could just have the person that repairs your air conditioner to actually come and fix the heater as well. This could also save you time so you don’t have to wait for it during the winter. That would keep you from being cold for a long time.

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  • I’m installing a new heat pump soon, so these tips will help me make sure that I know how to extend its life. Changing my air filter is something that I need to do better at when maintaining my new heat pump. I would check on it from time to time, but there have been a few times when I waited a long time to get around to changing it. That would probably explain why my old heat pump broke down easily. This time, I’ll change my air filter more often and have it professionally serviced regularly.

    Reply
  • These are some awesome tips. I appreciated that the explanation of what to expect during a heat pump maintenance visit. I’ve heard that it’s a good idea to learn what to expect from professional services. It’s a way you can probably ensure you’re going to get what you paid for.

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  • Good advice. It will help me know when I can fix it myself or when I need to hire a professional. Thank you!

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  • Test the amount of refrigerant in the pump is a smart thing to do. After all, that is what keeps your system cool. It would be a good idea to have a professional come check those levels for you. I know that I wouldn’t be able to fully understand how to do it.

    Reply
  • I really liked what you had to offer here. Just would like to add that it is always wise to adhere to the provided manuals so as not to screw up the system. Changing the filters at regular intervals and also cleaning up the outdoor coils whenever needed are necessary as you mentioned. Make sure to get rid of the clutter and foliage from all outdoor units…Thanks for sharing…

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    • Definitely! That’s good insight. Thanks!

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  • I liked when you talked about how hiring professional services can help you keep your pump working right. It makes sense that making sure you understand when and who to call can help you make sure your unit is running correctly and avoid expensive repairs. It is important to remember to shop around for the best company that can deliver the services you need.

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  • I really the point made about checking and changing the air filter when it’s dirty. My sister recently had some trouble with her heating pump because it had been a while since the air filter had been cleaned. I will be sharing these maintenance tips for heating pumps with my sister.

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    • Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  • Very useful tips. Thank you for sharing with us.
    isipompasi

    Reply
    • Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  • Thank you for the information on how to keep your heat pump maintained and performing optimally. I never knew that by keeping the outdoor condenser clean, it could keep the air inside cleaner. My wife and I usually call someone to do it for us; however, I think there are some things that we could do before they come. Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Thanks for reading!

      Reply

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