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A-1 Mechanical Blog

Using and Maintaining Your Heat Pump

How to Improve Your Heat Pump’s Efficiency

How to Improve Your Heat Pump's Efficiency

A-1 Mechanical is your local heating and cooling specialist in Lansing, Michigan, we help homeowners design systems for both hot summers and cold winters. Heat pumps provide cool air by circulating indoor air across very cold indoor coils. During the winter heat pumps condense outside air and circulate indoor air across hot indoor coils. Because Michigan winters become extremely cold, most homeowners use a heat pump for most of the winter and supplement warmth through a furnace on very cold days.

The goal of using your heat pump is to provide complete comfort while consuming the least amount of energy. Heat pumps are rising in popularity because they are driven completely by electricity. This means the heat pump does not create direct emissions and therefore, is considered renewable energy. When you work with a professional heat pump specialist from A-1 Mechanical you will discover the heat pump’s thermostat plays a large role in reducing energy bills.

A smart thermostat is the most effective device for optimizing comfort and saving money. A smart thermostat learns your usage patterns and adjusts your heat pump to run only when you are home. Adjusting the temperature settings on your thermostat when you are not home and when you are sleeping helps your heat pump run less frequently and lower operating costs. A heat pump can also be integrated with a programmable thermostat.

Throughout the year you should keep your heat pump clean and the area around the outdoor unit free of debris. The indoor unit should be cleaned and dirty filters should be replaced frequently. If you check your air filter once a month the airflow is better and your heat pump is better protected.Contact

Maintaining Your Heat Pump

Cleaning, replacing air filters, and using your heat pump with a smart thermostat are the basic DIY solutions for your heat pump. Since the units run all year round, heat pumps should be maintained in the spring and fall of each year. Maintaining your heat pump requires a unique skill set, training, and tools. When you partner with the team at A-1 Mechanical, you can be assured your heat pump works at top levels.

Before each appointment be sure to let your technician know of any issues you’re currently experiencing with your heat pump. There is a complete list of components that need to be inspected according to your manufacturer. During a heat pump tune-up, you can expect your technician to perform these services and some additional services unique to your needs and local climate.

At A-1 Mechanical some of the services included in our heat pump maintenance checklist include:

  • Check air filter
  • Visually inspecting components, electrical wiring, and connections
  • Cleaning the evaporator coil, blower wheel, and the outdoor condenser coil
  • Measuring refrigerant levels
  • Inspecting Evaporator Coil and Blower Wheel
  • Inspecting and Cleaning Outdoor Condenser Coil
  • Testing the accuracy of the thermostat and calibration
  • Testing operations including cooling ability and heating function

Preventing The Need For Repairs

Proper maintenance by an HVAC specialist makes sure your system is best prepared for the most extreme seasons. Even with preventative maintenance heat pumps may need repair. During inspections technicians often identify and prevent surprise repairs. Technicians know the most common components to break down and carefully check your heat pump. By discovering minor issues in your heat pump system early you can avoid major repairs. Not surprisingly this saves on the cost of operations because worn parts use more energy.

Small investments in maintenance every year can prevent premature system replacement. As well as preserving the manufacturer’s warranty, maintenance reduces strain. Well-calibrated systems operate more efficiently and less frequently to achieve the desired temperature settings. Get as much of that life expectancy as possible with regular maintenance service. In fact, research shows that well-maintained heat pumps use 10-15% less power than those without proper upkeep.


Signs Your Heat Pump Needs Repair

Without proper maintenance, you are more likely to experience breakdowns. Even a well-maintained heat pump system will likely need repair during its lifetime. The sooner you see the warning signs and call for heat pump system repair, the quicker you restore energy efficiency. There are five major signs:

  • Increase in Energy Consumption – Each month compares the prior year’s corresponding month. Sudden spikes in energy indicate a worn system.
  • Poor Airflow – Dirty components, worn belts, and electrical components may cause the airflow to be impeded within your home.
  • Ice Buildup – The defrost function of a heat pump prevents the unit from building up with frost. Excessive ice buildup may be related to defrost assembly or refrigerant leaks.
  • System Short Cycling – If a heat pump cycle shuts off unexpectedly, the system may be safeguarding a major repair.
  • Improper Temperature – A reverse valve or faulty thermostat may cause the heat pump to operate in the wrong mode. This means heat in the summer and cold in the winter.


The Importance of Heat Pump Maintenance

One of the biggest features of heat pumps is efficient operation. Most heating and cooling professionals recommend that you have your heat pump maintained, cleaned, and inspected in spring before summer temperatures hit, and in fall, before winter temperatures dip. Having your heat pump maintained twice per year can, in the future, prevent issues from occurring with your HVAC system. Always follow the recommendations of your manufacturer and call on A-1 Mechanical, your local heat pump specialist when you need questions answered. 

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