Heat pumps do an invaluable job of keeping us warm and cool, so ensuring they are regularly checked during spring and fall will help make sure they are up for every season’s challenge.
Proper maintenance of a heat pump is key to its optimal operation, resulting in lower energy costs and more eco-friendly operation.
Inspecting these five areas during routine maintenance is crucial for optimal heat pump performance, leading to lower energy costs and eco-friendly operation. If you’re looking for the best HVAC service in Phoenix, visit Diamondback Plumbing. Learn more here.
Table of Contents
1. Get rid of dirty filters
Heat pumps work harder when working with dirty filters. At least once each month, use a hose attachment and brush to cleanse them of any dust and dirt build-up; vacuum the housings carefully so as to not damage their coils or fins before reinstalling the filters.
Keep the area around your outdoor unit clear to ensure airflow remains unrestricted, free from shrubs or tall grass that might block airflow. Mow the area regularly and trim any vegetation that encroaches on your heat pump to maximize energy efficiency.
Routine inspections can help you save money by ensuring that your heat pump is operating at its most efficient at all times. A maintenance checklist allows technicians to thoroughly examine each component of your system for any underlying problems before they become costly repairs.
2. Clean the outdoor coil
Your heat pump relies on two sets of coils, the evaporator and condenser coils, to transfer heat from your home’s air. These coils are located within its outdoor unit and must remain free from dirt, dust, or other forms of debris in order to operate effectively.
Dirty coils impede heat transfer, forcing your heat pump to work harder and waste more energy in order to maintain an appropriate temperature. Therefore, it is crucial that both evaporator and condenser components are thoroughly cleaned during biannual maintenance visits.
To properly clean the coils of a heat pump, first, you’ll need to switch off its power and remove its outdoor grill. Next, use a garden hose equipped with a wide spray nozzle to wash your coils from bottom to top using an antibacterial cleaning solution made specifically for heat pumps.
3. Check the refrigerant levels
Refrigerant is at the core of every heat pump’s operation; this special fluid absorbs heat from indoor air sources and transfers it outdoors during summer, then reverses in winter. Without enough refrigerant, your heat pump cannot push cool air as effectively, which leads to higher electrical costs and possible equipment damage.
Professional inspectors can conduct regular or diagnostic inspections of your heat pump’s refrigerant levels to assess its efficiency or to investigate possible performance issues.
They’ll look out for signs of leaky refrigerant from its evaporator coil, condenser, connecting lines or wet spots around these components, as well as compare pressure measurements against manufacturer specifications or pressure-temperature charts to ensure appropriate levels are present.
They also evaluate subcooling and superheat temperatures to ensure the system has sufficient refrigerant levels for efficient cooling. Incorrect refrigerant levels place additional stress on equipment – particularly compressors. This could result in premature wear and tear or even require system replacement altogether.
4. Check the condensate drain line
People rarely consider the condensate drain line of their heat pump when thinking about its efficiency, yet it plays an essential part. Clogging it could result in your evaporator coil freezing over, rendering your heat pump useless and making repairs impossible.
Heat pumps collect condensation that drains off into their drain lines through wall vent tees to either the floor drain or outside the home for disposal. Clogs in this system could overflow, leaving an accumulation of liquid either inside or around the system – preventing it from functioning normally.
To clear a drain line, place a garden hose at the vent tee access point and turn it on in short bursts for only a few seconds at a time – this will force water through any clogs, helping flush them away. Pouring one cup of distilled vinegar down at this access point also kills mold, algae and bacteria growth while helping prevent it from returning and clogging the line again.
5. Check the thermostat
Faulty thermostats can hurt your home’s comfort, too. A simple test can tell whether or not your heat pump’s thermostat is giving false readings or not functioning as intended.
Maintaining your heat pump requires annual inspections from professional HVAC service technicians. Hiring such teams can take care of everything from replacing air filters and cleaning out condensate drains to flushing indoor condensate pans in spring.
Furthermore, many HVAC companies offer membership and maintenance plans that cover two inspections at discounted rates each year.