How-to Guide for Heat Pump Operation and Maintenance

What You'll Need
Screwdrivers or wrench
Brush or damp cloth

Probably the most used appliance in your house is your heat pump unit which makes it imperative for any homeowner to learn the proper techniques of heat pump operation. Aside from the obvious fact that correct operation and adequate maintenance helps to prolong the life of your heat pump, doing so can also lower your electric current usage and hence lowering your electric bills. Once your heat pump operates way below the optimum, you will actually be consuming 10 to 20 percent more energy. Imagine the overall difference.

Step 1—Set Your Thermostat

One part of your heat pump that you need to master is the thermostat. Setting your thermostat is very crucial because it will determine when and how often your electric back-up heat goes on. Generally, when the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the back-up automatically goes on. You would know so because the indicator light in your thermostat, usually labeled as emergency, would go on. For greater efficiency, set your thermostat on the lowest temperature that you are comfortable with. During the colder times of the year, set your thermostat at 68 to 70 degrees. On the other hand, if it’s quite hot out, set your thermostat to 78 to 80 degrees. Such settings will allow your heat pump to work without having to always trigger the electric back-up heat to prevent using unnecessary energy.

Step 2—Clean Your Filter

The filter is the most important and also the most vulnerable part of your heat pump. The usual cause of the over consumption of electricity when heat pumps are concerned is the filter. What happens is your filter usually gathers dust and other kinds of debris that can cause it to clog up. To prevent this from happening, make it a habit to clean your filters once every month. Your filter is located in the indoor unit of your heat pump.

Step 3—Maintain Proper Airflow

To maintain the proper airflow of your heat pump, it is not recommended that you close off more than 10 percent of your registers. Keep your registers free from obstruction. Airflow is just as important for the outdoor unit as it is for the indoor unit. Blockage may arise due to shrubs, grass, rocks and leaves so be sure that you clear anything that can cause obstruction from your outdoor unit.

Step 4—Restart Properly

One thing about heat pumps that continually puzzles us is the restarting procedure during a power outage that lasts for more than 30 minutes. During the power outage, set your heat pump to emergency heat. Once power is restored, keep your settings for up to an hour to heat up any refrigerant that may have started to cool down. You may set the heat pump back to normal after waiting for an hour.