Even though heat pump air conditioning and heating systems have been around since the 1940s, they are still considered to be one of the “newer” types of heating and cooling systems. These systems provide a number of advantages in terms of home comfort, financial savings, and environmental responsibility. This is truly a versatile product that can help almost any homeowner that is looking to save on electricity, and keep their home comfortable. These units tend to be robust, but ignoring maintenance can result in expensive heat pump repairs. This article will help you avoid those!
Those who already own one of these energy-efficient units will notice that there are several similarities and a few differences in terms of maintenance when compared to traditional air conditioner plus furnace-based HVAC systems. The following is a list of some of the maintenance tasks that you can perform yourself, as well as some situations in which you should contact an HVAC specialist like Air Check Mechanical Service.
Your heat pump is capable of performing two functions. In the winter, provided the temperatures are not too deeply below freezing, it provides warm air, and in the summer, it provides cold air. Consider the system to be similar to a cup of coffee. In the summer, iced coffee drinks tend to be consumed to keep cool, and in the winter, hot coffee is consumed to keep warm. The coffee remains the same, but the method of preparation differs. Because of this HVAC double duty, it’s important to inspect and clean a few key components on a regular basis.
Here are three simple heat pump maintenance tasks that you can complete on a regular basis.
1. Replace the filter
Each and every forced air heating and cooling system is subject to this rule. It simply makes sense and is frankly one of the easiest but most effective heat pump maintenance tasks you can perform. Make certain that you are using the proper filter for your heat pump HVAC system, in terms of both size and rating.
2. Check to see that the outside condenser is not clogged with debris.
Check the vents on your condenser in the spring to make sure that new plant growth is not blocking them. Check to see that all leaves have been removed from the area in the fall. Likewise, if it snows, make sure to clear away any snow drifts that may accumulate near the condenser. The ability to move unrestricted airflow is essential for efficient operation of these units, and a simple visual inspection can make a monster difference year round.
3. Vacuum the inside of the condenser on a regular basis.
There is an indoor condenser similar to the one found outside that operates in the same manner as the outside unit. Even though leaves and snow do not obstruct airflow, dust and pet hair can have a similar effect on the flow of air. Cleaning the system on a regular basis will ensure that it runs as efficiently as possible.
The following are some less frequently required steps for which you will probably want to hire an HVAC professional to complete them for you.
1. Performing a visual inspection of the reversing valve and expansion valve.
Your heat pump system is comprised of a number of other critical components that require maintenance on a regular basis. The reversing valve and expansion valve are both strong and dependable components, but if they are not maintained, they can fail after a few years. It is recommended that you have an Air Check Mechanical Service HVAC professional perform an inspection and make any necessary adjustments if you cannot recall the last time you had these checked.
2. Examine the amount of refrigerant present in your system.
At first glance, the term “refrigerant” may appear to make no sense when discussing a heating system. For simplicity’s sake, consider the refrigerant to be a conveyor belt that transports heat from inside to outside in summer and vice versa in winter. When the levels are correct, the system is able to move the maximum amount of heat when it is needed. The fact that your system is running at a low level may indicate that there is a leak, which our technicians can identify and repair during a system check up.
3. The compressor in your heat pump system should be inspected.
The compressor, also known as the “heart of the HVAC system,” should only be used when absolutely necessary. If you notice that your heat pump is operating more frequently than you believe it should, schedule an inspection. It could be a minor problem that, if left unaddressed, could result in a costly heat pump repair down the road. Keep in mind that a low refrigerant level is one of the potential issues that could result in a compressor that is working too hard.
Make an appointment to have an Air Check Mechanical Service certified HVAC technician inspect your heat pump. Get in touch with us right away.