Heat Pump Maintenance Tips for Preserving Better Performance
In summer, a heat pump operates like central air conditioner removing heat from inside and venting it outside. During winter, heat pump process reverses. It extracts heat from cool air outside and releases it inside the rooms. Just like other home appliances, it needs proper maintenance. Small issues if not addressed can cause costly compressor issues later.
Actually, heat pump maintenance is more technical, so it is practical to call a professional. However, there are some DIY maintenance tips for homeowners.
- In heating season, never set thermostat below 65°.
- In cooling mode avoid setting thermostat below 70°.
- Set thermostat at single temperature because constant adjustment can trigger high electric bills, especially in winter.
- During freezing cold, make a habit to check outdoor heat pump for ice or snow buildup.
- In case of snow buildup on the outdoor unit remove it properly. Turn thermostat to heat or pour warm water to melt the snow buildup.
- Never use sharp objects for knocking ice off coils. It can severely damage the coils.
- Change or clean filters every month or as necessary.
- Outdoor coils get dirty soon, so need to be degreased and hosed but make sure to turn the unit off first.
- Foliage growing around the outdoor component needs to be removed.
- Shrubs and plants need to be kept minimum 18” away from heat pump surrounding.
- Heat pump has to remain 4” to 8” elevated above ground level for proper drainage and keep away buildup of snow or ice on the coils.
- Never allow outdoor unit rest beneath leaking gutter because in winter water drips on the unit top and freezes. It will restrict flow of air and cause whole unit to freeze-up.
- In spring, flush indoor condensate pan and the drain.
- Check insulation of the piping for deterioration and replaced if faulty.
Be proactive and have professional technician to perform preventative maintenance on the heat pump once in a year.
Maintenance and inspection checklist
- Duct leakage
- Sufficient airflow
- Check filters, ducts, indoor coil, and blower for dirt or other buildups
- Correct the refrigerant charge
- Check for refrigerant leaks
- Lubricate the motors
- Inspect belts for proper tightness and wear
- Check electrical terminals and if needed clean and tighten the connections as well as apply non-conductive coating
- Correct the thermostat operation
- Check electric control to ensure that heating gets sealed when thermostat needs cooling and vice-versa
Make sure to contact a certified and licensed technician for maintenance, early diagnosing and correcting heat pump issues to avoid breakdown of the heat pump at most inconvenient times like middle of the night or weekends.