When you invest in a heat pump, you want it to continue to work efficiently. The best way to keep it in top shape is to maintain it properly. Like any other well-running machine, your heat pump requires care and routine maintenance.
The key is routine, regularity, and habitual maintenance. Regular, preventative maintenance will also save you money. Not only will your heat pump continue to run with more efficiency, but also you will likely keep the repair bills at a minimum.
A maintenance checklist can help you to ensure the tasks are completed. As with other maintenance tasks, there are some things that you can easily do yourself to maintain your heat pump. Other portions of the maintenance are best left to the professional. Let’s look at the steps required for routine heat pump care.
There are simple things you can do yourself to help keep your heat pump running efficiently. Perhaps the simplest thing is changing or cleaning the filter at least once a month—more often if necessary. If your filter is dirty, the air doesn’t flow freely through the system as it should.
Take care of the exterior part of your unit as well as the interior parts. You should make sure dirt, snow, leaves, and ice don’t collect on the top or sides of your unit. Shrubbery and plants should be kept trimmed neatly so they don’t become tangled in the coils or fan. Additionally, if the coils or fans become dirty (and they likely will), you should turn off the unit and carefully clean them.
Inside, if you have a ducted system, there are a few other maintenance points to consider. Vents should be unobstructed and kept clean. If the fins of the vents are bent, they should be straightened or the vents replaced. Also, check the interior of the vent to be sure nothing has been dropped into it.
Let a Pro Do the Maintenance
At least once a year, you should have a professional check your system to ensure proper working order. While this can mean a service charge, it will still be less expensive than repairs or replacing a malfunctioning unit. A professional technician can identify problems you might not notice and thereby help catch issues before they become unmanageable.
A technician will inspect your system thoroughly. The ductwork will be checked for leaks and dirt. If leaks are found, the issue will be addressed. The coils will be inspected for cleanliness and proper operation.
Refrigerant levels will be checked, and if necessary, the levels will be recharged. Electrical components will be inspected, and loose parts will be expertly tightened. Belts, motors, and other mechanical parts will be checked for proper operation as well. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the technician’s visit should leave you feeling confident that your system is in proper working condition.
Routine maintenance can keep your heat pump running smoothly. While some maintenance is DIY friendly, it’s a good idea to also schedule a technician to inspect the system at least once yearly.