How should I maintain my heat pump?

Here are a few tips for the proper operation of a heat pump and optimizing your energy saving:

  • Do not setup backup heating systems on your thermostat; backup heating systems are usually more expensive to operate.
  • Continuous indoor fan operation also can degrade heat pump performance unless a high-efficiency, variable-speed fan motor is used; operate the system on the “auto” fan setting on the thermostat.
  • Proper maintenance is the key to efficient operation; the difference between the energy consumption of a well-maintained heat pump and a severely neglected one ranges from 10%-25%.
  • Clean or change filters once a month or as needed, and maintain the system according to manufacturer instructions; dirty filters, coils, and fans reduce airflow through the system; reduced airflow decreases system performance and can damage your system’s compressor.
  • Clean outdoor coils whenever they appear dirty; occasionally, turn off power to the fan and clean it; remove vegetation and clutter from around the outdoor unit.
  • Clean the supply and return registers within your home, and straighten their fins if bent.

Have a professional technician service your heat pump at least every year, the technician can do the following:

  • Inspect ducts, filters, blower, and indoor coil for dirt and other obstructions
  • Diagnose and seal duct leakage • Verify adequate airflow by measurement
  • Verify correct refrigerant charge by measurement
  • Check for refrigerant leaks • Inspect electric terminals, and if necessary, clean and tighten connections • Lubricate motors, and inspect belts for tightness and wear
  • Verify correct electric control, making sure that heating is locked out when the thermostat calls for cooling and vice versa
  • Verify correct thermostat operation
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