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Douglas Cooling & Heating Blog

What Does Heat Pump Maintenance Include?

In regards to HVAC equipment, heat pump systems offer the best of both worlds – they heat your home in the winter and cool it in the summer. That’s enough to make your traditional furnace or air conditioning system jealous!

Because heat pumps function year-round and don’t take seasons off like air conditioners and furnaces, heat pump maintenance is critical to protecting the performance, efficiency and service life of your unit. Follow these maintenance tips to keep your system running properly throughout the year.

If you have any questions about heat pump maintenance, or would like to speak to a NATE-certified HVAC technician about installing a heat pump system in your home, contact the HVAC pros at Douglas Cooling & Heating. Douglas is Alabama’s most trusted heating, cooling and plumbing company. We are happy to answer all of your heat pump-related questions.

How Do Heat Pumps Work?

Before we discuss how to maintain a heat pump, let’s first talk a little about how a heat pump works. Heat pumps operate differently than a traditional air conditioner or heating system because they don’t actually create heat or cool air. Instead, they move heat around to achieve the heating and cooling process.

In the summer months, a heat pump extracts excess heat from your home, sending it outside (or underground in geothermal systems). During the winter, the heat pump draws heat from outdoor air, moving it indoors to heat your living areas.

Furnaces, on the other hand, create heat, through the combustion of fossil fuels or electrical resistance. Air conditioners and heat pumps operate in much the same way to cool a home, but an air conditioner cannot perform heating functions as a heat pump can.

Performing Heat Pump Maintenance

If your Alabama home is equipped with a heat pump, there are certain heat pump maintenance steps you should take throughout the year to safeguard the performance and efficiency of your equipment.

  • Change the air filter as needed. Check the filter manufacturer’s recommendation for frequency while considering special factors about your home that may increase the frequency for changes, such as pets or smoking in the home.
  • Keep exterior coils clean year-round. Cut off power to the unit and use a hose to clear away dirt.
  • Keep vegetation at least 24 inches back from your heat pump to allow for proper airflow.
  • Never store items around your exterior heat pump. This includes patio furniture, lawn tools and outdoor toys.
  • Remove snow and ice from your unit’s exterior in the winter. This prevents damage and allows air to flow freely to the unit.
  • Flush the unit’s condensate pan and drain to eliminate clogs that could cause mold growth and water damage to the surrounding areas.

Professional Heat Pump Maintenance

Furnaces and air conditioners each require maintenance once per year. Because they serve both functions, heat pumps should be maintenanced twice per year: once before heating season and once before cooling season. During professional maintenance, our technicians perform the following inspections to ensure your unit is ready to meet the demands of the coming season.

  • Inspecting components for damage.
  • Verifying proper airflow.
  • Measuring refrigerant charge and identifying leaks.
  • Inspecting electrical terminals, as well as cleaning and tightening of terminals, if needed.
  • Lubricating motors.
  • Inspecting belts.
  • Verifying controls and safety switches.
  • Verifying correct thermostat communication.

Heat Pump Maintenance Experts in Alabama – Douglas Cooling & Heating

Taking care of your heat pump is important in all Alabama homes. With the right care throughout the year, your system will provide reliable heating and cooling at costs much lower than air conditioners or furnaces. Douglas Cooling & Heating is here to help you with skilled heat pump maintenance performed by our NATE-certified technicians. Contact Douglas Cooling & Heating today to schedule heat pump maintenance services.

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