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Cleveland HVAC Blog

Heat Pump Maintenance: What You Can Tackle and What to Leave to the Pros

Posted by Paul Wadsworth on Wed, Apr 23, 2014 @ 08:30 AM

floor heating vent inhomeSpring is the ideal time to perform heat pump maintenance and get the equipment ready for the cooling season. You can tackle some maintenance steps yourself, while you should leave others to the pros.

Heat Pump Maintenance to Tackle Yourself

  • Check the filter: Perform this important maintenance step—depending upon the filter type—often every month. When the filter appears dirty, change it, waiting no longer than three months between each filter replacement. Doing so can save 5 to 15 percent on energy bills.
  • Clear away debris: The outdoor unit may attract dead leaves and grass clippings. When this debris collects in the heat pump’s fins, it blocks airflow and reduces efficiency. Pick the debris out if you see any collecting.
  • Cut vegetation back: Keep plants trimmed at least 18 inches from the unit to ensure proper airflow.
  • Hose down the unit: Dust and dirt can also collect on the fins. Every few months, take a garden hose to the outdoor unit and spray it down. NOTE: to be safe, make sure that you disconnect the power source to the unit before undertaking this task.
  • Keep indoor vents unobstructed: Furniture and rugs may block return and supply registers. Dirty or bent registers can also obstruct airflow. Straighten bent fins and move furniture if necessary to ensure proper air circulation around your home.

Heat Pump Maintenance to Leave to the Pros

A certified technician is the only one qualified to perform some important heat pump maintenance, including the following:

  • Check the refrigerant level and test for leaks.
  • Inspect ducts for dirt or other obstructions.
  • Seal any leaky ductwork.
  • Measure airflow through the indoor cooling coil.
  • Check thermostat accuracy and verify correct operation.
  • Clean and tighten electrical terminals and apply nonconductive coating if needed.
  • Verify correct electric control to ensure cooling is locked out when the thermostat calls for heating and vice versa.
  • Lubricate motors and other moving parts.
  • Tighten belts and check motors for wear.

The best way to ensure each of these heat pump maintenance steps takes place every spring and fall is to sign up for a service agreement with a reputable contractor.

Contact P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling today to schedule preventative maintenance. We have proudly serve the greater Cleveland area since 1936.

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Paul WadsworthPaul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for over 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. Paul is the Chairman of COSE's Energy Advisory Council. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.

The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.

Topics: heat pump maintenance, preventive maintenance, heat pump

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