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Your Guide for Safe & Efficient Heat Pump Operation

January 16, 2014 | Blog

 A heat pump is one of the safest, most efficient ways to heat your Coastal Bend home with electricity. As with any heating system, though, maintaining heat pump efficiency and safety requires proper care. A few basic steps are all you need.

Keep the filter clean — Check your filter monthly. If it’s dirty enough to look opaque when you hold it up to a light, replace it. A dirty filter impedes airflow, which reduces your heat pump efficiency.

Allow sufficient airflow — Good airflow is necessary for both safety and efficiency. Never close more than two air delivery registers. Take care not to block registers with furniture or curtains. For good airflow around your outdoor unit, periodically clean off dirt and leaves, and trim grass and shrubbery near the unit.

Prevent fan wear — If you have a high-efficiency, variable-speed fan motor, it’s safe to set your fan to “on” for continuous fan operation. With any other type of motor, continuous operation quickly wears out the motor. To protect your motor, set your fan to “auto.”  Setting the fan to auto also helps with humidity control.

Increase temperatures gradually — In winter, avoid raising the thermostat temperature by more than 1 1/2 degrees at a time. Any more will turn on the emergency heat, which is highly energy-inefficient. In summer, this isn’t a concern.

Protect your system — After a power outage of longer than 30 minutes, turn your thermostat to emergency heat and leave it on for an hour after your heat pump turns on again. This protects your system from excessively cold refrigerant.

Head off problems early — Call a technician if you get no air from your registers, your heat pump makes strange noises or your outdoor unit frequently ices up.

Schedule an annual inspection — To maintain heat pump efficiency and prevent safety issues, call in a technician once a year to check your entire system. The technician will inspect duct leaks, ensure sufficient airflow, test the refrigerant charge, lubricate the motor and check for electrical faults.

For more professional guidance on keeping your heat pump safe and efficient, contact CCAC, Inc..

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about heat pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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