While 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.
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).
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