Heat Pump Maintenance Tips

The following are general heat pump maintenance tips. Anyone performing maintenance on a heat pump must follow all safety procedures known by a qualified service technician:

Monthly Maintenance

- Check the indoor coil(s) for moisture seaping out of the drain pan. Signs of moisture could indicate the need to clean your condensate drain.

- Clean or replace your indoor filter

Cooling Season Start-up

- Monitor the discharge air temperatures. Is the system discharge cold air into the space? Is the unit outside discharge warmer air than its surroundings? If not, contact a qualified technician.

- Clean the outdoor coil (if it is an air source heat pump) using a coil cleaner that can be purchased at a local air conditioning supply house. Don't use a water hose for this heat pump maintenance, but instead use a small brush to remove anything stuck between the coil fins.

- Listen and record the type of sound you hear coming from the unit. As time goes on, your records and trained ear will recognize changes. This is often the first sign of trouble.

- Ensure there is no grass growing or any other obstruction to airflow in and around the outdoor unit (if air source heat pump).

- Using a carpenter's level, ensure that the pad supporting the outdoor unit is level. If it has shifted, carefully lift the pad using a lever, and place shims under the pad to return the slab back to a level surface.

- Follow all insulated lines from the outdoor unit to all indoor coil(s) or unit(s). Ensure the insulation is intact. If it is not, replace the insulation.

- De-energize power to the outdoor fan. Clean the fan blades.

- Clean indoor air registers and straighten fine, if necessary.

Heating Season Start-up

- Ensure there is no ice or snow build-up near the heat pump throughout the winter

- Monitor the discharge air temperature. Is the system discharging warm air into the space? Is the unit outside discharge colder air than its surroundings? If not, contact a qualified service technician.

- Clean the outdoor coil using the procedure described above.

- Listen for changes in sound using the heat pump maintenance item above.

- Ensure all refrigerant line insulation is intact. If not, replace and/or repair.

Maintenance Performed by a qualified service technician:

- Test for proper suction and discharge pressures.

- Test for proper suction gas superheat.

- Ensure that the proper amount of refrigerant exists in the system.

- Perform an electrical test of the thermostat. Ensure that heating is locked out while cooling is enabled (and cooling is locked out when heating is enabled)

- Perform an electrical test of the heat pump internal electrical controls, such as the start capacitor, relays, contactors, etc.

- Inspect all equipment and materials, such as coils, fans, filters and ducts for debris or obstructions.

- Check for air leakage at duct seams.

- Measure for proper airflow.

- Check the refrigeration system for leaks.

- Clean and/or tighten all electrical connections.

- Grease motor and tighten/replace fan belt.

For other important heat pump maintenance instructions, refer to the owner's manual for further specialized instruction.

If you are looking to learn about heat pump maintenance check out this link to Youtube.com for some great videos.

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