Now that the heating season has passed, take a few moments to tend to your heat pump. It will soon be in high gear again, but this time, it’ll be working long days to keep your home cool. By understanding how your heat pump functions, you can take better care of it.
Your heat pump works a lot like your refrigerator. It moves heat from one location to another, rather than producing heat like a furnace. Three primary factors must be met to achieve maximum efficiency: unhindered air flow, efficient ductwork and optimal refrigerant function.
- Air flow obstructions include dust and debris collecting on the heat-exchanger coils and on the air handler. The air handler pulls air across the coils, inducing heat exchange. The resulting cool air is blown into your duct system. Keep the coils and air handler blades clean by wiping them down periodically, and keep the outdoor unit free of obstructions, like weeds, leaves and anything that blocks air flow. Also, be sure to check your air filter regularly.
- Efficient ductwork means no leaks, disconnections, damage or obstructions in the system. All leaks and poor connections should be repaired with mastic and mesh. If damaged ducts aren’t repairable, they should be replaced. Check for obstructions such as drapes, furniture, debris or anything that restricts free air flow at air-supply registers.
- Refrigerant levels must be kept near exact manufacturer recommendations. Of course, this should be performed by a heating and cooling pro, as should any other steps you don’t feel comfortable doing. Accurate refrigerant levels are only obtained when air flow has been optimized.
Schedule preventive maintenance
Preventive maintenance twice a year will help your heat pump deliver maximum comfort and energy savings, while also helping your system last years longer. These are some checks a professional technician will perform:
- Inspect indoor blower and coils
- Inspect ducts and seal leaks
- Measure air flow
- Check coils for refrigerant leaks
- Measure refrigerant and charge
- Inspect electrical components
- Lubricate parts
- Perform thermostat, heating and cooling diagnostics
Interested in having your home’s heat pump checked out? The experts at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal can help. We’ve provided exceptional service and installation to homeowners in northwest Arkansas for over 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.