Three Things You Should Be Doing To Maintain Your Heat Pump System

Heat pumps are a cost-effective and efficient means of both heating and cooling your house. If you've chosen this versatile technology to control your home's climate, then it's likely that you care about saving money over the long-term. While heat pumps are an excellent choice to keep your utility bills manageable, they require routine maintenance to perform their best. Fortunately, maintaining your heat pump doesn't have to be a costly or time-consuming chore. These three steps will help you to keep your system functioning at peak efficiency all year long.

Step 1: Understand Normal Operating Behavior

Although heat pumps are conceptually similar to a "reversible" air conditioning system, they have their own unique behaviors that may be surprising to homeowners unfamiliar with their operation. If you have only recently installed your heat pump, you should familiarize yourself with its routine behavior so that you better understand when something is failing. In particular, keep these three facts in mind:

  • Your heat pump will automatically enter a defrost mode in cold temps, but it should not run continuously
  • Heating operation varies between a warm and a cool mode, with the cool mode used to maintain the set temperature once it has been achieved
  • Your utility bills will be much higher if the heat pump is forced to run in its heat mode continuously

Many technician calls are the result of the homeowners not fully understanding how heat pumps operate, so keeping these three basic facts in mind may save you money in the future.

Step 2: Replace Your Filters

As with any HVAC system that relies on forced air, your heat pump system has a filter that must be changed regularly. Typical filters should be replaced once every 2-3 months, but you should check your filter about once per month for new systems. By inspecting your filter often, you will be better able to judge if your home requires more or less frequent replacements. Failing to replace a dirty filter can reduce air quality or overwork your system, resulting in higher utility bills.

Step 3: Schedule Annual Maintenance

Finally, be sure that a heating services provider inspects your heat pump system at least once per year. As with any other heating or cooling system, your heat pump has several parts that require periodic inspection and maintenance. This yearly check-up will generally include reviews of your outdoor unit, blower motor, thermostats, ductwork, and more. By staying on top of annual maintenance, you will ensure that your system is operating at peak efficiency and potentially catch problems early before they interrupt the regular operation of your system or result in costly repairs.