Life would be so much simpler if car tires never needed air, oil never leaked, or brake pads never needed replacing. But cars are machines, and all machines need regular service. Your heat pump is a complex machine, too. For maximum energy efficiency and optimal comfort, heat pump maintenance should be performed on a seasonal basis.
Heat pump basics
These basic do-it-yourself cleaning tips will help heat pump performance. This lets you see the importance of maintaining equipment for function and system longevity.
- Airflow is essential to heat pump performance. Clean any debris that may block airflow at the outdoor unit. Don’t let leaves, grass clippings, strewn debris, and ice and snow build up at any time.
- Make sure electricity is off to the heat pump. At the indoor unit, wipe the heat-exchanger coils with a dry cloth (if accessible). Wipe the blower too. These components collect dust and dirt very quickly. They require unhindered airflow to condition your home. The blower pulls air across the heat exchanger coils. The refrigerant inside the heat exchanger extracts heat from your home, which ends up cooling your home.
- Change or clean your air filter as recommended by its manufacturer. A clogged air filter hinders airflow, just as dust, dirt and debris hinder airflow at the blowers and coils.
Professional heat pump maintenance
In addition to basic cleaning, call a heating and cooling pro to service your heat pump at the start of the cooling and heating months. Refrigerant levels must be checked. If refrigerant is off just a little bit, you can lose 25 percent efficiency. The technician will perform the following checks:
- Inspect for refrigerant leaks.
- Refill refrigerant if required.
- Inspect electrical connections.
- Oil moving parts.
- Clean blowers and heat exchangers.
- Calibrate blower speed.
- Test thermostat.
- Check air filter for usage and fit.
- Check heating, cooling and defrost functions.
- Discuss with you the work performed, and any needed repairs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat pump maintenance and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.