As winter begins and the temperatures outside begins to drop you may notice an increase in your utility bills due to a higher heating cost. One of the best ways to combat these higher costs is to maintain your heat pump for winter. Doing so can possibly cut your electricity usage, lower your bill, and extend the overall life of your HVAC system.
The heat produced by heat pumps isn’t as intense as the heat produced by a gas, wood or oil-burning furnace but because we live in a climate where the outdoor air temperature does not fall near or below freezing on a regular basis, this is what many of us use to heat our home in the winter as part of our HVAC system.
There are many different kinds of heat pumps, but they all operate on the same basic principle — heat transfer. This means that rather than burning fuel to create heat, the device moves heat from one place to another. Like all heating and cooling systems, proper maintenance is key to efficient operation. The difference between the energy consumption of a well-maintained heat pump and a severely neglected one ranges from 10% to 25%.
One of the most important things you can do is clean or change filters once a month or as needed, and maintain the system according to manufacturer’s 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 in your home, and straighten their fins if bent.
You should also have a professional technician service your heat pump at least once every year. The technicians here at Dan Pearson Heating & Air 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, and apply non-conductive coating
- 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
Have a question? Need a service call or inspection? Contact Dan Pearson Heating & Air