How to Protect and Maintain Your Heat Pump

Heat pumps are a great way to increase the efficiency of your HVAC system, saving energy and potentially lowering utility costs in the process. This is because they not only utilize the hot or cold air generated by your HVAC system, but they draw from heat that is already present in the environment, to reduce the energy needed to heat or cool your home on demand.

However, in order to enjoy the greatest performance from your heat pump, you need to protect it with regular maintenance, just like every other component of your HVAC system. What does this entail, and how can you ensure the greatest performance and longevity from your heat pump?

Proper Operation
First and foremost, you need to use your system appropriately. Although thermostats generally feature both an “on” and an “automatic” setting for your fan, running it continuously will cause parts to degrade faster, and in most cases, you simply don’t need your HVAC fan blowing air day and night.

When you set the system to the “auto” fan setting and use programming features on your thermostat (supposing you have a programmable thermostat), you have the best opportunity to keep your home comfortable without placing undue demand on the fan, the heat pump, or other components and shortening their usable life.

Regular Maintenance
Like any machinery, your HVAC system components require regular care to function at their peak and continue to keep your home comfortable while delivering the energy savings you prefer. Depending on the type of system you have, you may need professional service annually or twice a year.

During service calls, your trained and experienced HVAC technician will inspect and clean your heat pump (and other components), and recommend needed repairs to keep performance high. Generally speaking, you’ll want to schedule a service in the fall for your heating system and a spring service call for your AC system. This will help to ensure that your HVAC is functioning properly before you are beset by extreme seasonal weather fluctuations.

DIY Spot Checks
In addition to scheduling regular maintenance from your trusted HVAC professionals, you can do a lot on your own to ensure that your system remains in ship shape between visits. The best way to do this is to check filters regularly – ideally once a month when you’re using your system around the clock. Keeping filters clean prevents dust and grime from building up in your system and fouling parts, potentially hindering performance and causing damage that could require repairs later on.