How to Keep Your Heat Pump System Performing Efficiently

Cozy mother and child sitting near snowy window creating holiday decorations

Heat pump HVAC systems have been around since the 1940’s but are still considered one of the “newer” types of heating and cooling options. These systems come with several benefits for the comfort of your home, your wallet, and the environment.

If you already have one of these efficient units, there are several similarities and a few differences to maintenance compared to traditional HVAC systems. Below is a list of a few services you can perform yourself and some situations where you should call an HVAC specialist.

Your heat pump performs double duty. It provides warm air in the winter and cold air in the summer. Think of the system a bit like tea. In the summer you drink iced tea to stay cool and in the winter you sip hot tea to warm up. The tea stays the same, but the application changes. With this double duty, it’s best to regularly inspect and clean a few key components.

Heat pump maintenance tasks for homeowners

Here are three easy maintenance tasks you can perform regularly.

1. Make sure the outside condenser is clear of debris.

In the spring, make sure new plant growth is not blocking the vents. In the fall, make sure leaves are cleared out from the area. And when it snows, make sure to clear out any drifts that pile up near the condenser. Unrestricted airflow is the key to efficient operation.

2. Regularly vacuum the inside condenser.

There is a similar condenser inside that mirrors the operation of the outside unit. While leaves and snow are not a problem, dust and pet hair can have the same effect on airflow. Consistent cleaning will ensure the entire system operates efficiently.

3. Replace your filter.

This applies to every forced air heating and cooling system. Make sure you use the proper filter, both size and rating, for your heat pump HVAC system.

Heat pump maintenance tasks best performed by an HVAC professional

Following are some less frequently required steps that you will want to contact a HVAC professional to perform.

1. Checking the refrigerant levels in your system.

The term “refrigerant” may not make sense when talking about a heating system at first. Think of the refrigerant as a conveyor belt that carries heat from inside to the outside in the summer and the reverse in the winter. Proper levels ensure the system can move the maximum amount of heat when you need it. If your system is low, it may be a sign there is a leak and our Sila technicians can address this issue when performing a system check up. Schedule your HVAC maintenance in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic.

2. Inspecting the compressor in your heat pump system.

The compressor, aka the heart of the system, should only run when it needs to. If you hear your heat pump running more than you think it should, schedule an inspection. It may be a simple issue that left unchecked could cause an expensive repair later. Keep in mind that low refrigerant is one of the potential issues that could cause an overworked compressor.

3. Checking the reversing valve and expansion valve.

Your heat pump system has a few other critical systems which require attention every once and awhile. The reversing valve and expansion valve are sturdy and reliable parts but can fail after a few years if neglected. If you can’t remember the last time you had these checked, we recommend having a Sila HVAC professional perform an inspection and perform any adjustments they might need.

Heat pump benefits include reduced carbon emissions and increased safety

If you are considering replacing your existing heating and cooling system with a heat pump, here are some of the benefits you may not know about.

First and foremost, heat pumps have a lower cost of operation since they do not require a consumable fuel to operate. CO2 emissions can be completely removed from the equation at your home, offering an environmental benefit. Removing the need for natural gas, fuel oil, or propane, also makes heat pumps a perfect option for home remodels or remote locations.

Safety is also improved with a heat pump system. No consumable fuel leads to eliminating possible carbon monoxide poisoning from exhaust fumes. And the removal of oil tanks prevents any possible spills and leaks into the home and environment.

Both of these benefits are a strong argument for considering making the switch. On the larger scale, If your utility provider has made the switch to renewable energy production, the entire process of heating and cooling could be carbon free. Major metropolitan cities are looking to reduce carbon emissions as part of their future plans. For instance, the city of New York is aiming to have 25% of all heating provided by heat pump systems to help reduce carbon emissions. Their goal equals 2.5 million households switched over by 2030. With this aggressive plan, rebates and incentives will be offered for home owners to take advantage of. Check our list of HVAC rebates and resources.

Trust your heat pump system to the HVAC professionals

Be sure to talk to a Sila certified HVAC technician to discuss your options. They can provide an informed recommendation to help you decide which is the best heating system for your home to efficiently reduce your costs and provide the best solution for your needs. Contact us today at (240) 301-3846 !

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