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Heat Pump Maintenance 101: What’s Included in My Service?

If you believe in Murphy’s Law, an ignored heat pump will fail during the worst time of year, in the dead of winter. With the upcoming holidays, this is the last thing you want, especially since the winter is one of the busiest times of year for HVAC technicians. The best solution is preventive HVAC maintenance, which is essential to a heat pump’s longevity, efficiency and reliability. By knowing the services that a technician performs during a heat pump service, you can take comfort in the fact that you are less likely to experience an HVAC emergency during the upcoming chilly seasons.

Benefits of Heat Pump Maintenance cold-87744_640

  • Energy efficiency: Maintained heat pumps are up to 25 percent more energy efficient than neglected ones.
  • Lower operating costs: Maintenance services address and prevent small issues that could turn into expensive repairs.
  • Extend the heat pump’s lifetime: Like other types of machinery, the components within heat pumps wear with time. During a maintenance service call, a technician will ensure that components have sufficient lubrication to prevent premature failures. The specialist may also replace worn parts that could become problematic in the future.
  • Save time: Maintenance tasks are less time consuming than heat pump repairs, which require troubleshooting and securing replacement parts.

What to Expect during Preventive Heat Pump Service

When an HVAC specialist provides maintenance services for your heat pump, the expert will check the following:

  • The area around a heat pump: The area around the unit should be free of debris.
  • Thermostat: The thermostat should accurately reflect the ambient condition. Its settings should maximize your comfort while saving energy.
  • Electrical connections, capacitors, relays and contactors: Snug connections ensure safety and extend the system’s life. The technician will also check the heat pump’s energy consumption and capacitors to ensure the heat pump’s optimal operation. Otherwise, the unit is at risk for electrical hazards, as well as motor and compressor failures.
  • Unit disconnect switches and test time delay: A disconnect switch and test time delay that work well prevent blown fuses and electrical hazards.
  • Lubrication: Sufficient lubrication reduces friction, resistance and energy losses.
  • Condensate drain and pan: The drain should not have obstructions. The condensate pan should not leak or have cracks.
  • Startup, shutdown and other controls: The technician will verify that the heat pump turns on and off appropriately, as well as ensure the proper function of the unit’s additional controls. As the heat pump turns on, runs, and shuts off, the specialist will listen for unusual noises and vibrations.
  • Air filter: Dirty air filters waste energy and cause unnecessary wear and tear on compressors. If necessary, the technician may replace the filter.
  • Blower wheel and motor: Dirty blower wheels and motors hinder airflow, which could waste energy and damage the compressor. A technician will ensure the motor draws the proper amperage.
  • The alignment of belts, pulley and other components: Misaligned components result in costly repairs.
  • Panels: If safety panels are not in place, the unit will not operate. The technician will also inspect the heat pump’s additional safety features.
  • Coil temperatures: If temperatures across a coil differ, this may be indicative of production or capacity problems.
  • Condenser fan and coil: The technician will clean the condenser coil to prevent problems related to the refrigerant’s pressure. The expert will also check the fan for vibrations, as well as its motor’s stability and amp draw.
  • Crankcase heater: Crankcase heaters that don’t function well could damage the compressor.
  • Reversing valve: Reversing valves that function well save energy.
  • Defrost assembly: A defrost timer in good condition prevents heat losses and compressor damage.
  • Refrigeration metering device: Clogged metering devices and those that don’t work well hinders a heat pump’s efficiency, life and cooling capacity. The technician will also ensure the refrigerant has the proper charge.
  • Compressor amp draw: The compressor and other components within the heat pump should draw the appropriate amount of power.

After the preventive maintenance service, the HVAC technician will review the results of the inspection and the improvements he made. Depending on the findings, you may receive suggestions about improvements or repairs the unit needs.

With the fall season just around the corner, now is a great time to schedule preventive HVAC maintenance with AAA Heating & Cooling. The services that our specialists provide will ensure that your system works well throughout the colder months, so you can focus on enjoying life. Schedule your appointment today.