Do I Really Need a Heat Pump Tune-up?
Getting a heat pump tune-up from Energy Stars will guarantee it’s efficiency. The difference between energy consumption from a well-maintained heat pump and a severely neglected heat pump ranges from 10% to 25%. You paid the premium to get a high efficient heat pump and it probably has already proved the value. Over time in the upcoming several seasons you will see your heat pump perform at efficiencies far greater than a typical furnace. However, even the most reliable heat pump needs preventive maintenance to keep it working at its best.
What is a Heat Pump Tune-up?
Your heat pump is similar to your car, it too need regular tune-ups to protect them from avoidable wear and tear in addition to keeping the heat pump running at peak efficiency. You change the oil in your car regularly or it will break down, a tune-up is like this for your back-up heat pump. Are you still wondering “what does a heat pump tune-up include?”
A Heat Pump Tune-Up Includes
In-home visit from a certified professional HVAC technician to clean and inspect your heat pump and the back-up heating system. Energy Stars can even calibrate and adjust things to improve your home heat pump. You should note that this is not an in-home energy audit. Please refer to the details below of all that is included.
The heat pump tune-up checklist:
Air filters should be changed to ensure proper airflow (1” standard sized air filter is included at no charge for most filter sizes). The heat pump’s outdoor condenser/compressor will be cleaned to ensure nothing is obstructing airflow inside or out. Other heat pump things that get cleaned as needed are the electrical connections and condenser drip pan.
With our meters the Energy Stars certified technician will test your incoming voltage and running amps of both the compressor and fan motors. Using our equipment to test the refrigerant lines will make sure the manufacturer-specified amount of refrigerant is present. If the level is too low, the evaporator coil in the air handler can freeze over, driving up energy bills. If it continues to run with a frozen coil, other parts of the heat pump may be seriously damaged. Other things Energy Stars will test are: defrost controls and sensors, lockout controls, and backup heating furnace system and delay.
Any moving parts, such as fans, and motor should all be properly lubricated. Improperly lubricated rotating items will eventually fail over time.
Consistent vibration from the heat pump could loosen electrical connections within the system - all connections should be checked including the indoor and outdoor breakers. We check and verify the thermostat is turned on and set up properly for the heat pump. Using a heat pump’s blower fan in continuous operation and not set to auto can degrade the heat pump’s efficiency performance unless your system uses a high-efficiency variable-speed fan motor. Also do not set back the heat pump's thermostat if it causes the backup heating system to come on - the backup heating system is usually more expensive to operate. Here are some tips for really cold nights to help your heat pump. Other things that will be checked are: all sensor calibrations, capacitors, check all duct work for proper airflow, fan blades and blower motor, safety controls, reversing valve and Energy Stars will make sure the condenser drip pan is draining properly.
And Other Adjustments
Tighten fan blades, adjust blower speeds, tension on the belt for the motor, and the refrigerant line charge (if this is required, there would be an addition to the tune-up fee).