Heat pumps function as both air conditioner and heater in most residential applications. Consolidating components of the HVAC system is a plus in most respects. However, it also means heat pumps don’t have seasonal downtime like a conventional furnace or air conditioner. Year-round operation in our Kansas climate increases component wear and tear, while the lack of idle time means routine heat pump maintenance may be neglected. Heat pumps operate with narrow margins of efficiency, and performance may decline precipitously without proper service. A neglected system may consume up to 25 percent more electricity than one that’s regularly maintained. Most heat pump maintenance procedures are straightforward and can be divided between homeowner-friendly tasks and those that need to be left to a trained HVAC technician.
What You Can Do:
- Change primary filter on the indoor unit every two to three months.
- Inspect the evaporator coil on the indoor unit and clean dust and dirt accumulation as needed. Remove dust from the blower fan blades and clean the condensate drain pan underneath the unit.
- Cut back vegetation around the outdoor cabinet to leave two feet of clear space on all sides for air flow.
- Clean the condenser coil in the outdoor cabinet annually. Turn off power to the unit and remove the protective grille on the side. Brush leaves, grass clippings and debris from the grille and from the condenser coil. Use a brush extension on a vacuum to remove dust from the coil fins. Hose the condenser coil down with a garden hose, directing water from the inside of the coil toward the outside. Reinstall the grill and restore power.
- Clean all the supply and return registers throughout the house.
What An HVAC Technician Will Do:
- Inspect ductwork for leakage and measure airflow.
- Verify the correct charge of refrigerant and check for leaks if suspected.
- Inspect all electrical terminals for proper connection and coat with non-conductive protectant.
- Lubricate the blower motor and check belts for correct tension and wear.
- Check the thermostat operation and re-calibrate if necessary.
For Wichita area homeowners, Comfort Systems services year-round interior comfort needs with just a single call. Let us show you how we’ve established our reputation with experience and expertise.
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.
|Energy Efficiency image via Shutterstock|