Maintenance Tips for Your Heat Pump

A heat pump is great for ensuring your home remains comfortable all year round at an affordable cost. Though your HVAC requires minimal maintenance after installation, there are a few things you should stay on top of to ensure a long life span and optimal performance.

Check Air Filters

Heat pumps have air filters that can quickly become clogged or dirty with regular use. Check on them at least once a month. If washable, take it out to clean. Some are not washable and will require replacing. Also, replace it if the filter looks worn.

Clear the Vents

Check the vents throughout the house and ensure they are clear. Avoid having any furniture or furnishing cover them to allow for good airflow. Blocking these areas will force the system to work harder at circulating air.

Also, when checking the unit’s air filter, be sure to check the air intake vents. You may need to clean them out if clogged, as this could force the air handler to work harder and become more worn.

Examine Ducts

This is especially important if the ductwork is more than eight years old. There will likely be some damage, so inspecting these passages is vital. This inspection should be done at least once a year, preferably before the cold season kicks in, so that you do not suffer from the loss of conditioned air and thus higher energy bills.

Clean the Outdoor Unit

Outdoor units will often get dirty from merely being outside. Be sure to keep the area around it clear of vegetation, snow, ice, and other debris. This includes the top, sides, and all around the unit. Also, check on the coils. If they appear dirty, use a heavy-duty degreaser and spray them down with water. Ensure that you have the unit turned off for this.

Check for Leaks

Be sure to inspect your gutters, so there is no leaking onto the outdoor unit. If water leaks onto the unit, it can freeze solid, causing interference with airflow and potentially causing the whole unit to freeze up. If you spot a leak, repair your gutters to prevent water from reaching the outdoor unit. Do the same whenever there are weather extremes and you suspect ice build-up. Remember that if you find ice has formed, you need to switch off the unit before you work on removing the ice. Avoid using sharp objects to hack away at the ice.

Annual Professional Inspection

Be sure to have your heat pump inspected and serviced at least once a year by a qualified service technician. If you think something is wrong with your heat pump, call a technician. This equipment can be delicate and carry the risk of electrocution if handled by an inexperienced person. If your unit is frequently exposed to the problem of snow and ice because of sitting on the ground, have the technician elevate it a few inches to keep the coils free from risk. Also, while it is possible to flush the indoor condensate pan and drain it on your own, having an HVAC technician perform this service is a good idea. This should be done in the spring before you need to start using the heat pump for cooling your home in summer.

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