Many homeowners across Nova Scotia are enjoying the cost saving and comfortable temperature heat pumps provide year round. But what some of them don’t know is that they might be inadvertently damaging the internal workings of their heat pumps.
The good news is if you own a heat pump you can take a few simple step to ensure your heat pump is functioning optimally all year long. Let’s take a look at them here, starting with…
1. Cleaning The Filters
Sometimes we get a call from a homeowner whose heat pump isn’t operating properly. One of the first questions we ask is, “When did you last clean the filters?”. Unfortunately, the answer is too often “Filters? What filters?”.
The interior head of your heat pump is equipped with two filters that keep dust and debris in the returned air clear of the internal coil. Under normal conditions, these will collect a layer of build up on them that can be easily rinsed off and wiped dry. Filters should be cleaned once a month to keep the build-up to a minimum. It’s a good idea to dust the top of the indoor head while you are cleaning the filters as this is where the air returns and dust can build up unnoticed here.
If these filters become blocked, the airflow through the heat pump will be restricted and the pump will have to work harder to maintain temperature, negatively affecting efficiency. Cleaning may be required more or less often depending on the particular conditions of your home.
2. Keep The Outdoor Unit Clear
In the same way that a blocked filter on the indoor unit will restrict airflow and impede performance, anything that is blocking the outdoor unit will have the same effect. This includes any plant growth, like tall grass, leaves, shrubs, or even objects like outdoor garbage cans or green bins placed in front of the air intake.
But the biggest cause for concern is certainly snow. Snow can completely block off the external unit’s fan, restricting airflow entirely. If this is left unattended then not only will there be no heating through the heat pump but the fan motor can burn out.
This Maintenance is impossible to schedule but it's just as important as regularly cleaning the filters. It’s critical to clear away buildup after a heavy snowfall, but the tricky part is to keep an eye on snow drifts. As we all know a snowdrift can bury a cleared car overnight and it can do the same to your heat pump.
3. Annual Inspection
Like any machine, regular inspection by a trained service technician is important to the continued long-term operation of your heat pump. During service, they can inspect the wiring, connections, fan, and motor. They will also give the indoor and outdoor units an internal cleaning.
If you follow all these maintenance tips then you will keep your heat pump fully operational and efficient for many more year to come.
If you have questions about heat pump maintenance or are interested in getting a heat pump of your own, please give us call or book an in-home appointment online to speak with one of our heat pump professionals.