In our region, heat pumps are an energy efficient way to heat and cool homes, but like anything mechanical, they require annual maintenance from an HVAC professional and routine maintenance by homeowners. You’ll get more from your heat pump this winter by tackling these tasks:
- Check the air filter for the air handler monthly. It may not need changing or cleaning, but with routine checking, you’ll be assured that the dust load won’t impede the heat pump’s performance. Anytime insufficient air goes through the air handler, it makes the whole system run longer. If enough dust enters the air handler, it can cover the evaporator coil and in the summer, this can cause the coil to freeze over, making the pump run continually. When the frost melts, it can flood the drain pan, which may cause water damage inside your home.
- Clear away any vegetation from the outdoor condenser and hose off the fins and coils. If you don’t use a bag to catch grass clippings, try to point the lawn mower’s chute away from the condenser to reduce any accumulation on the condenser. Anything that slows the airflow through the pump increases operating costs.
- If accessible, clean the drain pan inside the air handler and remove any dust from the evaporator coil.
Once a year, have an HVAC professional service your equipment. Annual maintenance typically includes:
- Checking the refrigerant level in the system. If it’s low, the technician looks for leaks and seals them before installing more.
- Cleaning all the electrical components and applying nonconductive lubricants.
- Oiling the motors and checking the belts.
- Measuring the airflow through the air handler.
- Testing the system for duct leakage and sealing, if necessary.
- Calibrating the thermostat.
When you keep your heat pump maintained, your energy efficiency may rise as much as 25 percent. The Department of Energy estimates that 50 percent of heat pumps have problems with refrigerant charge, airflow and ductwork issues. If you’d like to learn more about improving your pump’s performance, contact Powers Heating & Air. We provide HVAC services to residential and commercial customers in the Peachtree City area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree, GA and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about optimizing your heat pump’s performance and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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