Maintaining the ideal environment for your home throughout the year is a task your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system handles. Sadly, most homeowners overlook the maintenance task, especially the heat pump.
As one of the hardworking appliances in your home, the heat pump is responsible for keeping your home warm and cool, which is why maintenance is essential. A heat pump utilizes a compressor to distribute refrigerant that absorbs and releases heat as it travels between the indoor and outdoor units. The heat pump eliminates heat from your home during warm days, thus cooling it. As the weather cools down, the heat pump warms your home by drawing the heat from the outside and moving it inside your home. Generally, a heat pump works by transferring rather than producing heat, making it energy efficient.
When you provide your heat pump with regular maintenance, it can significantly boost energy efficiency in your home. At the same time, it reduces operational expenses, saves money on repair work, and extends its lifespan. Here are a few tips on keeping your heat pump in good working order.
- Schedule A Yearly Maintenance Inspection By A Professional
Even if you meticulously perform routine maintenance on your heat pump, consider scheduling an HVAC maintenance inspection by a professional every year.
A professional has the skills and expertise to thoroughly inspect your unit for any issues that might require repairs or replacement of malfunctioning or worn-out parts. With professional maintenance, you can stay in compliance with your warranty, lower the chances of a costly repair job and enhance the overall efficiency of your system.
During a professional maintenance visit, the professional will inspect the air ducts, determine the refrigerant levels, check the thermostat and clean the indoor and outdoor units.
2. Clean Or Replace The Air Filter
Like other HVAC systems, the air filter in a heat pump requires thorough cleaning or replacement. The air filters are responsible for catching particles or debris present in the air. Ideally, you need to replace the air filter every one to three months.
The air filter is essential in making your home a healthy space. It keeps dirt, dust, germs, animal dander, and viruses at bay in your house, resulting in cleaner air.
Once you overlook the task of cleaning or replacing the air filter, you're putting your household at risk for exposure to contaminants. Sadly, it can worsen respiratory conditions such as asthma or allergies.
It's best to use filters with a good Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating. Those with the highest ratings can effectively trap the smallest particles. Depending on your specific needs, make sure the air filter you'll buy is compatible with the heat pump in your home.
3. Keep The Outdoor Unit And Its Vicinity Clean
You must keep the exterior unit clean and the surrounding area if you want your heat pump to work correctly.
Simple tasks like mowing the grass or keeping shrubs at a minimum height nearby would greatly help. Remember that there should be adequate space on all sides of the unit to ensure efficient airflow.
Clean the outdoor unit thoroughly by getting rid of any leaves, dirt, branches, and other debris on the top and sides. You may use a water hose to clean and dry the unit. The removal of dirt and debris will prevent the device from working too hard.
Pay close attention to the evaporator coil for any buildup of dirt or debris. If you allow any buildup to linger, it can diminish heat transfer between the refrigerant flowing within the coils and the surrounding air that transports the heat. And during the winter, remove any snow and ice buildup on the outdoor unit as part of maintenance.
4. Inspect The Ductwork For Leakage
If you want your heat pump to work efficiently, one of the maintenance tasks you need to perform is checking for any air leaks in the ducts.
As the heat pump eliminates humidity from your home during the cold season, the water moves through the condensate drain. You need to ensure that the drain system is free of any blockages.
5. Examine The Electrical Components
Make sure to carefully check the electrical connections and wiring of the outdoor unit for any damage or looseness. If you see burned elements, carry out the necessary repairs and secure the connections.
The indoor unit comprises the control box that houses the circuit boards, relays, capacitors, and wiring. Examine for any loose wires or indications of damage. Remember to test the voltage and current since a faulty connection might reduce the lifespan of the heat pump's parts and make its operation risky.
6. Test The Thermostat
Maintaining your thermostat in good operating order is one way to ensure your house stays energy-efficient. Keep in mind to configure the programmable thermostat according to your preferences, and it'll operate effectively in maintaining the ideal temperature in your home.
7. Check The Base Of The Outdoor Unit
The outdoor unit should be on a level base. You need to check the unit's position now and then since the base might shift. Once there's an imbalance, it can result in water buildup and poor drainage.
As one of the hardworking appliances in any house, the heat pump deserves special care and attention. By performing routine maintenance on your heat pump and scheduling a yearly inspection by a professional, it'll ensure better energy efficiency in your home throughout the year.