How to Check Your Home Heat Pump

What You'll Need
Air filters
Low pressure hose

Check your home heat pump regularly to help maintain its functionality and efficiency. Simple maintenance techniques can help to increase the lifespan of your heat pump, and decrease the number of service calls to your home, saving you both time and money.

Step 1 – Keep Track of Settings

Make sure to keep your heat pump set to a comfortable but manageable temperature for optimum performance and efficiency. Frequently changing the temperature settings on your heat pump can lead to break downs. Make sure that at the end of heating and cooling season, you switch your heat pump to the appropriate mode for the current season. The control switches are usually located on the bottom or side of the air compressor unit.

Step 2 – Check the Filter

Clean your filters regularly to maintain your heat pump's health and reliability. Change them monthly during seasons of heavy use. If the filters are clogged, your heat pump will not work well or efficiently.

Step 3 – Clean Around the Compressor

Your outdoor air compressor may become encased in debris from rain, trees, or other sources. If your compressor has debris on it or in its drainage area, use a low-pressure hose to clear the area. Excessive buildup of debris is a primary cause of compressor failure, a problem which can cost you hundreds or even thousands in repairs. Check this regularly, especially in the all when trees are losing their leaves.

Step 4 – Change the Batteries

The thermostat on your heat pump most likely requires batteries. Make sure to check and change your batteries often. A heat pump with a spent battery in the thermostat will not kick on to cool or heat your home.

Step 5 – Check Refrigerant Levels

Below ideal refrigerant levels can cause damage to your heat pump. This is a service that should be preformed according to the manufacturer's guidelines, or if ever your heat pump's cooling power begins to wan. Checking and adding refrigerant are not suggested DIY projects, because refrigerant work requires a special license, and the materials involved are known to be hazardous to people, pets, and wildlife, if they are not properly handled and disposed of.

Step 6 – Help Your Heat Pump by Conserving Energy

While checking your heat pump for maintenance issues is a necessary task, there are other ways to help you heat pump preform its best and last as long as possible. Keep curtains or shades drawn in the heat of day during the summer season, to prevent solar gain and lessen the tax placed on your heat pump. Make sure that all of your windows are properly sealed and insulated, and use door stops during the winter to keep in the heat and keep out the cold. Each of these little changes can add up to a huge difference in your heating and cooling bill, the lifespan of your heat pump, and the health of the planet.