Checking It Twice: A Heat Pump Maintenance Checklist to Keep You Toasty All Winter Long

Winter is coming. And as temperatures continue to drop, you’ll need to make sure that your home is ready to keep you warm and cozy.

Every homeowner needs a winter weather checklist. This should include items that are critical for maintaining a toasty house even when it’s nasty outside. When you’re putting together your winter weather checklist, heat pump maintenance should rank near the top.

This article takes a look at a list of things you’ll need to check to make sure that your heat pump runs properly this winter. Keep reading to learn all the details about heat pump efficiency.

1. Make Sure Your Thermostat Works

The first thing any homeowner needs to do is to check their thermostat. This is the heart of your home heating system. It’s important to make sure that the thermostat is working properly, otherwise, you could be wasting energy and paying more than necessary on your heating bill.

Quality thermostats are relatively inexpensive devices available at any home improvement store. Invest in a digital thermostat so that you’ll have a variety of helpful settings to choose from.

2. Change Your Filter

For your heat pump to function at optimal efficiency, it needs a clean filter. That’s because when the filter is dirty, the heat pump will have to work harder than necessary to heat your home.

And don’t forget that the quality of the air in your home depends on a clean filter. A dirty filter will recirculate dirty air, and this same dirty air will also be recirculated through the heat pump, which can ultimately cause it to wear out sooner.

Changing your heat pump filters every six to eight weeks is an easy and inexpensive way to help extend the life of your heat pump while also heating your home more efficiently. 

3. Defrost Your Heat Pump

When you inspect your heat pump, you might notice a bit of frost buildup. A little is fine and normal, and shouldn’t cause any problems. But too much frost might cause damage.

Ice builds up when condensation forms around the condenser and evaporator. When your unit becomes encased in a thick layer of frost or ice, you have a definite problem. 

Learning how to defrost a heat pump is relatively easy, will increase its ability to efficiently heat your home, and will help it last far longer.

Thus it’s wise to inspect your unit on a regular basis. It will only take a minute and could make the difference between a comfortable home or a long miserable winter.

4. Making Sure Gutters Can’t Leak on the Heat Pump

Here is a basic home maintenance tip that can help ensure that your heat pump remains in optimal running condition. 

Many heat pumps are located near gutters that direct runoff from the roof to the ground. The problem is when gutters are poorly installed or become damaged, thus allowing the runoff to leak directly onto the heat pump unit.

This can have a direct impact on the physical condition of the unit. After all, the unit is designed to withstand a minimal amount of abuse from typical weather conditions such as rain and snow, but excessive exposure to water drainage or debris can cause it to break down.

5. Make Sure Fan Motor Runs Properly

Go outside and listen to your heat pump while it’s running. Listen to it for a few moments. How does it sound? At most, you should hear a gentle hum that tells you everything is fine.

But if the fan sounds strange, such as rattling or grinding, this is a serious problem and will need to be looked at as soon as possible. A service professional can assess the situation and let you know whether the unit can be repaired or needs to be repaired.

6. Clean the Coils

The coils inside your unit are crucial to optimal operation, but it’s easy for them to get dirty when exposed to the elements. Take a look while the unit is off, and give the coils a quick cleaning if necessary.

7. Keep the Thermostat Set Below 65 Degrees in the Winter

The thermostat in your home shouldn’t be set to the same temperature year-round. The setting should be different when it’s warm out compared to when the weather gets chilly.

During the winter, go ahead and keep the thermostat set at 65 or a little lower, then bump it up to above 70 during the summer.

This will keep the unit from working too hard during the winter season, thus saving you as much money as possible on your monthly energy bill.

8. Keep Heat Pump Properly Elevated Off the Ground

Be sure to keep your heat pump elevated at least 4 inches off the ground. This allows air to circulate around the unit to keep it cool, and also prevents it from getting flooded if the water level around the house rises during a storm.

9. Clear Away Ice, Snow, and Any Other Debris 

It’s nearly impossible to overemphasize the importance of keeping your heat pump unit as clear as possible. This is a simple matter of keeping an eye on it, and clearing away any ice, snow, leaves, or branches that begin to accumulate.

Keeping the unit free of debris takes only a few minutes, and this will help it to run efficiently for years to come.

10. Have It Serviced by a Professional

And finally, a wise homeowner understands the value of having their heat pump serviced by a certified professional at least once a year. A trained contractor will know what to look for and can provide the type of care needed to maximize the life and heating efficiency of your unit.

Tops Tips for Proper Heat Pump Maintenance

When it comes to keeping your home feeling cozy and comfy during the winter, few things are more important than caring for your heating/cooling unit. That’s why this list of heat pump maintenance tips is so valuable for having the most comfortable winter possible.

Keep scrolling to see more great tips and advice for homeowners.