How to Tune Up a Heat Pump and Save Energy

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High efficient heat pumps can help you save a lot on your energy bills. Generally, home heating and cooling consume up to a third of energy bills, and that is a lot. A properly installed and ultra-efficient heat pump can cut down a significant amount of the cost. A well-tuned heat pump will continually provide an efficient and high performing operation for many years.

Therefore, to get optimal efficiency from your heat pump, it is essential, except the regular cleaning, to give it a tune-up. This is one way to make sure that it runs efficiently no matter the season. With a central heating system or a gas furnace, you will probably need to do one tune-up. And that is when the winter is approaching. However, it is slightly different for heat pumps because you will probably use yours throughout the year, for both heating and cooling.

As such, tuning up the heat pump twice a year is a good idea. You can do this once before winter and also before it gets hot in late spring or the beginning of the summer when you need to use the air conditioning. 

So, what exactly goes on during a heat pump tune-up? Well, that's what we'll be talking about here. Fortunately, this is not a complicated procedure, and you can easily schedule a tune-up with any good technician. Instead of calling several professionals and waste your time, fill out the form online on networx.com, and they will call you for FREE and with no obligation.

By the time you're done reading this article, you should have a good idea about what goes into a heat pump tune-up. Also, what sort of maintenance it will require and how to get it to optimal performance.

Efficient Heat Pump Maintenance

Changing the air filters

Changing the air filters is one tune-up that you can do yourself, preferably once a month. It is vital to check the air filters regularly to see whether they are dirty and blocking proper air distribution. Some heat pumps use permanent washable filters.

If you're using one of those, simply take out the filters, wash them and place them back. However, if you aren't using any of such types, you can easily replace the filters. Blocked filters impede the free flow of air and cleaning them could lower the energy consumption significantly, and obviously improve the quality of indoor air.

Measure airflow for the right balance

Also, a technician would need to measure the airflow to maintain the right balance. This is one tune-up that is a bit technical, so you would need an expert for this. The way the air flows through your heat pump has an impact on the performance and could either cost or save you money.

Basically, it is crucial to ensure that the air flows in the right amount. If it's too little, the coil might get iced up, which will affect the performance of the heat pump. If it's too much, it is going to cause serious humidity problems. Either of these conditions could cause damage to the compressor. So, the airflow needs to be just right for optimal performance.

Check thermostat operations

Another necessary tune-up is the thermostat settings. You could probably do this yourself by going through the owner's manual and following the instructions there. If you have a technician coming in to do the regular tune-up, the person could handle this as well.

The thermostat should be set to keep your home comfortable as optimally as possible. This should cover when you are around and configured to save energy when you're out of town. Each heat pump is different, and you need to follow the manufacturer's instructions to set the thermostat correctly.

Again, if you're using backup heating, you need to set the thermostat in a way that it only kicks in under certain conditions. Or you would end up paying more on your energy bills as a result.

Get the correct refrigerant measurement

Getting the proper refrigerant measurement is a huge part of what makes a heat pump more efficient. It needs to be the right amount to get the best performance from the heat pump. If it's too little or too much, this is going to affect the efficiency of a system and could lead to damage. Some of the effects include higher energy bills and a shorter lifespan of your heat pump.

Secure electrical connections

Also, it is important to check that all the electrical connections are secure and performing as they should. To do this, a technician will check the voltage as well as the current on the motors and measure them.

This is a vital step because if the electrical connections are faulty, it could make your heat pump unsafe to use. Also, it can lead to the damage of some main components in your system. To ensure that your system continues to operate efficiently, a technician will also tighten any loose electrical parts.

Get all moving parts properly lubricated

Next, check all the moving parts and ensure that they are properly lubricated. Parts that move rub against each other, and if they are not well lubricated, it leads to more friction inside the motor. The effect of this is that you will end up using more electricity than normal, which leads to higher energy bills.

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Check the condensate drain

Now, checking the condensate drain is really important, particularly when you're moving towards the warmer months. This is because when you use the air conditioning mode, the unit lets out water, which needs to be drained out. If the drain is blocked, it could cause water damage to the surrounding objects. It could also affect the humidity levels inside your house, which could cause some discomfort. Systems with built-in dehumidifiers are especially helpful there, mainly if you live in a humid area. However, they will have to work overtime to keep up with a faulty condensate drain.

Beyond this, it could also lead to complications with your heat pumps. If the condensate drain fails, this is going to affect the filters as well as your separators. It means that your system will not perform optimally, and this can also lead to higher energy costs.

Check evaporator and condenser coils

Interestingly, the evaporator and condenser coils have a considerable impact on the efficiency of your system and energy costs. If they are dirty, this is going to make your system labor unnecessarily. Basically, the evaporator coil is responsible for taking out the moisture in the air along and passes it to the condenser. So, if any of these are faulty or dirty, your heat pump will run longer than it should, which will lead to higher energy costs. Worst still, it is going to reduce the lifespan of the equipment.

Conclusion

Finally, don't fiddle unnecessarily with your heat pump system. Once you've programmed the thermostat, sit back, and let the system do its job. Resist the temptation to override the settings manually. Most heat pump systems are set and go, you don't need to fuss over them, and they're quite simple to operate. But, if you want to get the most out of yours, take the time to schedule regular tune-ups with a qualified technician.

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