You probably recognize that heat pump maintenance is important. But did you know that regular maintenance can help keep you more comfortable, too? A well-maintained heat pump can yield as much as 25% more efficiency than a neglected system.
The U.S. Department of Energy explains that maintenance is the “key to efficient operation.” That doesn’t just translate to lower heating costs. When your heat pump gets regular care, every part of the system works in concert to distribute more warmth throughout your house.
DIY Maintenance: Check Your Air Filter
Although you need an HVAC technician for regular maintenance, there’s one DIY job that can make or break your system: replacing the air filter.
Energy Star lists it first among steps to improve efficiency and recommends that you check your filter every month, especially during winter and summer. “If the filter looks dirty after a month, change it. At a minimum, change the filter every 3 months.”
That’s because a heat pump’s air filter has a simple but important job. It traps dust and other airborne particles, which gives you cleaner air to breathe. But it also keeps damaging particles out of the unit.
A dirty air filter restricts airflow. That impairs the heat pump’s heating performance, as well as the volume of warm air that’s sent through your vents or registers. Particles can collect on numerous mechanical parts, harming their performance individually and as a system.
With a dirty air filter, your heat pump struggles to breathe and works harder than it should. That could translate to system replacement years sooner than necessary. And make sure you’re using the right filter for your system. Some air filters are capable of removing more particles from the air, but they might restrict airflow too much.
Schedule Seasonal HVAC Maintenance
Heat pumps need maintenance before the cooling season begins in spring and again before winter settles in. If you keep a regular maintenance schedule with your HVAC technician, you’ll have fewer repair surprises. You’ll also reduce the chance of a major malfunction or total system failure mid-winter. Small repair issues can turn into major problems if they go unchecked.
Now is a great time to schedule a maintenance appointment. Here’s what the Department of Energy says your technician should do:
- Check the air filter and replace if necessary
- Inspect electric terminals, tighten any loose connections and coat them with a nonconductive material
- Lubricate moving parts
- Inspect belts to ensure they’re flexible, snug, and in good condition
- Check refrigerant charge and inspect for leaks
- Verify the thermostat and controls are working properly
Your technician can also locate leaks in the ducts and seal them, which will send more heat into your home, reduce heat pump workload, and lower heating costs. Energy Star notes that duct sealing can reduce energy costs by as much as 20 percent.
Heat pump maintenance should be as regular as the turning of seasons. The return on investment is quite high, especially when measured against the cost of major repairs. According to Home Advisor, the average heat pump repair rings up at $348 and can reach as high as $1,200.
Caring for your home heating system doesn’t just keep the unit clean and functional. It’s vital for your comfort and the life of the system. Call Jewell Mechanical at 615.469.5965 to schedule a maintenance appointment—to help protect your heat pump investment and keep your home comfortable all winter long.
We also offer an annual Energy Savings Agreement that includes a maintenance plan of two services per year, one in the spring/summer and the other in fall/winter. We provide HVAC services for Nashville and most of Middle Tennessee.