Heat pumps are awesome heat generators and help maintain a comfortable temperature in a home year round, even through harsh Maine winters. They are also supremely energy efficient, which is great for your energy bill, as well as the environment.
How much you save on energy efficiency ultimately depends on how well you take care of your heat pump. In fact, a well-maintained heat pump uses 10 to 25 percent less energy than one that has been neglected, according to the Department of Energy.
Here are five tips on how to better maintain your heat pump and optimize savings efficiency on your Maine energy bill.
1. Have your heat pump serviced annually by a HVAC 911 Maine contractor
We recommend having your heat pump serviced annually by a certified HVAC technician, ideally in the fall ahead of the cold winter weather. Preventative maintenance can substantially reduce the cost of needed repairs overtime. A HVAC 911 Maine contractor can perform an inspection and tune up the system so it works at peak performance.
When you call for a referral, you will be connected to a licensed, bonded and insured contractor, who employs only highly skilled HVAC technicians. They routinely perform work on items such as air ducts, filters, blowers and indoor coils for dirt and other obstructions.
They will also ensure you have the correct refrigerant, charge and check the refrigerant for leaks and inspect electrical terminals and clean and tighten connections.
2. Inspect filters monthly and replace as needed
Inspect the filters on your heat pump each month. This is critical to ensuring proper air flow and maintaining peak efficiency. It is ideal to have several filters on hand and to replace the filter when necessary.
3. Maintain free air flow
Maintaining proper air circulation is critical to efficient heat exchange. Make sure the supply registers and return grills in each room are not obstructed by drapes, furniture or other objects. If any rooms lack return grills, keep the door open.
Update your thermostat
Does an “auxiliary” or “emergency” heat indicator light appear on your thermostat? If so, the thermostat is not ideal for heat pumps. The same is true if you do not have a digital thermostat. Every time you turn back the thermostat to save energy at night or when you are not home, your heat pump kicks into backup heat mode, which is more expensive. We recommend upgrading to a programmable thermostat. This will implement temperature changes gradually so emergency heat is rarely used.
If you are not comfortable doing this work, call HVAC 911 Maine and be referred to a contractor who can install a new thermostat.
4. Clear the outside unit of debris and vegetation
Make sure the outdoor unit is free of debris and vegetation. While the unit needs air flow inside the house to properly function, it also needs proper air flow outside as well. If vegetation or debris clogs up the exterior vents, you risk major damage to the unit.
5. Make sure the outdoor unit of the heat pump is strategically placed
The position of the outdoor unit can be critical to your heat pump’s efficiency. Check your outdoor unit and make sure it is free of any dripping water, as this can cause critical freezing problems during the winter. The heat pump should not be located under a gutter. If it is, it should be moved. Also, the outdoor unit should be at least four inches off the ground to allow for proper drainage.
If your heat pump needs to be relocated, contact HVAC 911 Maine to connect with a contractor.
At HVAC 911, we can connect you to a local licensed, bonded and insured HVAC contractor in Maine who can inspect, maintain or repair your heat pump.
All our affiliated contractors employ HVAC technicians who undergo rigorous training, criminal background checks and drug testing.