Does Your Heat Pump Need More Maintenance Than a Traditional HVAC System?
If you’ve recently had a heat pump installed in your Oak Hills, CA home or if you’re thinking about installing one, it’s important to understand its maintenance requirements. Unlike central air conditioners and central furnaces or boilers, your heat pump can regulate your indoor temperature year-round. Given that it pulls double duty, you might be expecting to pay a fortune for preventative care. However, heat pumps typically require the same amount of service that traditional HVAC systems do. In fact, some heat pumps require a lot less.
Your Heat Pump Isn’t Burning Fuel
Unlike forced-air furnaces and boilers, heat pumps aren’t burning fuel to get the job done. Instead of producing heat during winter, heat pumps merely transfer it. This difference accounts for why heat pumps are consistently ranked among the safest and most efficient ways to warm up a home during the cold season. With heat transfer, there are no exhaust gases being produced and thus, there’s no risk of carbon monoxide (CO) leaks. Moreover, when it comes to maintenance, the absence of fuel combustion means that you don’t have to pay for an HVAC professional to inspect, repair, or replace any venting systems.
You Have Only One Unit to Maintain
It’s easy to see why some consumers believe that heat pumps require more maintenance than traditional HVAC systems do. After all, air conditioners and heaters only require professional service just once each year. When you use a heat pump all year long, you should have this unit serviced at the start of summer and again just before the cold season rolls in. However, your service costs and the number of service visits that you pay for annually will be the same overall.
Annual Service May Suffice
Not all households use their heat pumps year-round. In warmer California climates where severe winter weather isn’t the norm, heat pumps are among the most efficient options for home heating. However, you may have alternative equipment that you use in addition to or instead of your heat pump. For instance, if you have a forced-air furnace and only use your heat pump during summer, it’s only necessary to have your heat pump professionally maintained once annually. The only time heat pumps require twice-annual service is when they’re used for all of a household’s heating and cooling needs. Your HVAC technician can help you establish a needs-specific maintenance schedule.
How to Maintain Your Heat Pump
Homeowners should regularly change the air filters in their heat pumps. This is a simple maintenance task that takes mere minutes to complete. Your heat pump installer can show you where your heat pump’s filters are located. They can even assist you in finding the right filter replacements for your indoor air quality (IAQ) goals and air intake requirements. Recommendations for setting an effective filter change schedule can be found in your owner’s manual and on your heat pump manufacturer’s website.
It’s also important for homeowners to remove all debris around their outdoor heat pump components. Heat pumps have condenser units that are installed on the outside of your home. These units should never have large amounts of vegetation or other obstructions around their perimeters. When you do your regular yard work, take a minute to ensure that there is a bare area around your heat pump condenser that allows for adequate airflow. In the interior of your home, check your heat pump air registers for dust and other accumulations. You can clean these features off with a damp, microfiber towel.
Professional Heat Pump Maintenance: What to Expect
Apart from filter changes and light clean-up around the perimeter of your outdoor unit, most heat pump maintenance should be handled by a licensed technician. During heat pump maintenance service, your provider will:
- Inspect the unit’s fan blades
- Check for leaks within your HVAC ductwork
- Inspect the blower motor, indoor coil, and filter for blockages or debris buildup
- Measure the refrigerant levels
- Test the refrigerant pressure
- Lubricate all motors and moving belts
- Verify that all electrical contacts are protected from the outdoor elements
- Inspect and calibrate your thermostat
These visits give HVAC professionals the chance to catch and correct minor issues early on. They’re also an opportunity to optimize the efficiency of your heat pump for the coming season.
At JC Energy Solutions, we’ve been providing reliable HVAC service to residents of Oak Hills, California and the surrounding area for quite some time. We offer heating and cooling installation, maintenance, and repair services. We also provide preventative maintenance agreements and emergency services. If it’s time to have your heat pump serviced, contact us today!