HVAC For Beginners

Heat Pump Maintenance

How to Keep Your System Running Efficiently

With these heat pump maintenance tips, you can perform the routine maintenance on your system and save. Most dealers offer service contracts but they can be expensive and you can do the same things yourself with a little help. These tips will help you extend the life of your hvac system. You will also save on your electric bill.

**NOTE** Only you can assess your ability to perform these tasks. This is only a guide and cannot cover every possible detail. Please consult your owners manual for specific detailed instructions for your brand of heat pump.

At the indoor unit

You can begin servicing your system at the indoor unit (air handler). Start by shutting off the power to the unit and verifying, with a meter, that it is not energized. Check all electrical connections to ensure they are tight. If you see any signs of a burned connection or where it has been hot, repair the connection and then ensure it is tight. Now, check the blower to make sure the wheel is clean. Some older units may require oiling the motor bearings but most newer units have sealed bearings. Check to make sure there is not excessive play in the bearings. You can finish up inside by cleaning or replacing the air filter.

Heat Pump Maintenance, the outdoor unit

Now, you can go to the outdoor unit to continue your heat pump maintenance. Start by shutting off the power and checking with a meter to ensure it is de-energized. Check all wiring connections to ensure they are tight. Look for signs of connections getting hot and repair as necessary. Also, look for signs of pitting on the contacts of the contactor and replace it if pitting is present.If you have a multimeter, you can use it to check the capacitance of the capacitors. Check that their actual reading is within 6% of the listed rating. You should also wash the outside unit. With a garden hose, wash the dirt, grass clippings, etc. out of the unit.

DO NOT USE A PRESSURE WASHER AND BE CAREFUL NOT TO MASH THE FINS ON THE COIL. This should be performed in the Spring, throughout the Summer as necessary, and in the Fall.

Operating checks

Next, you should check your thermostat to make sure it is level. This is necessary if you have an old mechanical type. This may also be the time to think about changing to a programmable unit to save on your utility bill. You can do this yourself and save. You can complete the servicing of your heat pump by turning the power back on to both the indoor and outdoor units. Then, turn the unit on and observe a complete heating cycle. It is a good idea, at this time, to check your smoke alarms to ensure proper operation.