Without a heat pump, your Dundalk home would be a cold and uncomfortable place. So, to avoid a brutal winter, you should take steps to protect and maintain your heat pump. Learn the basics of heat pump maintenance, and you can keep your system running on even the coldest of days.   

Receiving Preventative Maintenance on Your Heat Pump

As with most appliances and systems in your home, your heat pump needs regular maintenance. Calling a professional out for regular maintenance comes with several benefits, one of which is a much more energy-efficient system. In fact, a pump that’s maintained well is approximately 10 to 25% more efficient than a pump that’s not maintained.   With the high cost of winter utility bills, you probably welcome the energy savings. But there’s more to receiving maintenance. When you hire a heating and air conditioning service near me for regular maintenance, you prevent the need for repairs and decrease the cost of repairs you do need.    During a maintenance call, your technician will check all the vital components of your heat pump. They take any necessary precautions to keep your system working the way it should. In doing so, your technician can prevent much more costly repairs.   

DIY Heat Pump Maintenance Tips

Every year, you should call your HVAC technician for heat pump maintenance. Because heat pumps are complex systems, they are best left to the experts. That said, there are a few steps you can take on your own to protect your heat pump.  

Pay Attention to Your Heat Pump

Your heat pump may tell you when it’s in distress, but you might be missing the warning signs. By paying attention to your heat pump, you could identify an issue before it causes a major malfunction.   For one, consider how often your heat pump defrost cycle turns on. Is it kicking on frequently or lasting an extended period? Your pump shouldn’t be in defrost for more than 15 minutes at a time. If you notice this or anything else unusual about the defrost cycle, you need to call for help.    It’s also useful to know the noises your heat pump makes. As soon as you hear something unusual, consider calling for a repair. Although it might only be a minor issue, the sound could  be a warning that there’s an underlying issue.  

Clean Your Filters and Dust Your Vents

As dust accumulates on your filters and around your vents, two things happen. First, the dust keeps your system from being efficient. The particles slow the air flow, which makes your system work harder to heat your home. Secondly, the dust poses a danger to your system. Eventually, it could affect the sensitive components of your heat pump.   Ideally, you should change out your air filters every 30 to 69 days. While you have the ladder out, dust off your vents.   

Clear the Area Around the Pump

Keep an area of at least two feet clear around your heat pump. For the outdoor unit, keep grass, leaves, and debris far away. When it snows, clear some of the snow from the area directly surrounding the unit.   

Keep Vents Open

By closing the vents in unused rooms of your home, you might hope to save energy. But closing vents does more harm than good, as it places extra stress on your heat pump. To maintain your system, keep your vents open all winter long.   

What the Professionals Do

Other maintenance for your heat pump is only for an experienced hand. Once or twice every year, call an expert to go through a checklist. If you use your heat pump as your primary system, it’s essential to call for maintenance at least twice a year. The heavy use will take a toll on your system.   In any case, the maintenance checklist should include the following:  

Inspect the Components

During the inspection, your technician will take a close look at your ducts, blower, indoor coil, and filters. They look for dirt, damage, and blockages and address them as needed.  

Clean the Coil and Drain Pan

Both the coil and drain pan of your heat pump get dirty from months of use. To keep your system efficient and functional, a technician will clean the coil and drain pan.  

Flush Drain Line

Over time, algae can form in your drain line. Unfortunately, this could prevent water from draining out of the system. A flush of your drain line removes blockages and allows water to flow through your line freely.  

Check for Duct Leaks

A reputable heating and air conditioning service near me checks your ducts for leaks. If you have a duct leak, your ducts lose a significant amount of heating to the environment.  

Other Steps on the Checklist

In addition to the above, a technician might do the following:  
  1. Check discharge pressure
  2. Verify refrigerant charge and check for hazardous leaks
  3. Start a defrost cycle and watch the sequence
  4. Inspect all wiring and tighten loose connections
  5. Examine the blower wheel
  6. Lubricate the bearings and other parts
  7. Check belts for wear and tighten them as needed
  8. Make sure the thermostat works

Getting Started on Maintenance for Your Heat Pump

If you don’t take care of your heat pump, it won’t take care of you. The cold winter months take an incredible toll on your system and leave it worse for the wear. In neglecting your heat pump, you encounter several issues.    As mentioned earlier, failing to maintain your heat pump causes your energy bills to rise. It also means your system is likely to be in need of repair. And finally, a lack of maintenance decreases the life span of your system. If you don’t want to replace your system after only a short time, you need to take care of it.   For your heat pump maintenance, count on us at Reliability Home Services. Our highly trained Dundalk technicians will take the time to examine your system with a detailed eye. They’ll address potential problems and keep your system working well. If you’re ready to take care of your system, give us a call.