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How to Clean a Heat Pump

A heat pump is a vital component that helps regulate the temperature inside your home. It works by extracting heat from the air outside and transferring it inside during the colder months and reversing the process during the warm months to cool your home. This system can be incredibly efficient at both heating and cooling, but like any piece of machinery, it requires proper maintenance to function effectively.

To keep your HVAC system running smoothly and maintain a comfortable indoor environment, it’s essential to understand how to clean your heat pump and maintain it. Today, we’ll share how a clean heat pump benefits your household as well as tips to help you clean your heat pump.

Benefits of a Clean Heat Pump

There are several reasons why heat pump cleaning is crucial, including:

Improved Energy Efficiency

A dirty or clogged heat pump unit can lead to restricted airflow, making it difficult for the system to function properly. When the airflow is restricted, it puts a strain on the system which reduces its efficiency. This means that your home won’t be as comfortable as it should be and the system will have to work harder to maintain a set temperature. Heat pump cleaning will help improve the airflow and allow it to run efficiently, which means you’ll save money on energy bills.

Increased Lifespan

Like any mechanical equipment, regular maintenance and cleaning will increase the lifespan of heat pumps. If you neglect to clean your heat pump, dust, dirt, and other contaminants can build up inside the system and on the heat pump coils, leading to more wear and tear on the indoor unit and outdoor unit. This can create issues that require heat pump repair, and eventually cause it to fail prematurely, costing you more money in the long run.

Better Indoor Air Quality

A dirty heat pump can create a home environment with poor indoor air quality. The dust and dirt inside the unit can contaminate the air that circulates within your home. This can exacerbate allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems, which can be harmful to you and your family’s health. Cleaning your heat pump will eliminate these contaminants and provide you with a healthier indoor environment.

Heat Pump Cleaning and Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

There are several things that homeowners can do to maintain their system and keep their heat pump running smoothly. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind:

Regular Cleaning

Cleaning your heat pump should be a routine task. At a minimum, you should clean it once every three months, and more often if you have pets or live in a dusty environment. Start by turning off the unit and then use a soft brush or soft dry cloth to remove dirt buildup, dust, and debris from the cabinet of the indoor unit. Remove the front panel of the air handler and use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to suck up any debris on the inside of the unit.

Make sure that the area surrounding the indoor unit is clean, free of debris, and easily accessible. This will significantly improve the unit’s performance and extend its lifespan.

Replace Heat Pump Filters

Make sure to clean or replace heat pump filters regularly. To locate the air filter and determine the correct replacement size, consult the owner’s manual or contact a professional technician. Once the filter is identified, remove the old filter and properly dispose of it. Insert the new air filter in the same direction as the old one and ensure it fits snugly without gaps. It is recommended to replace air filters every 1-3 months depending on usage and environmental factors such as dust and pet hair.

Clean Outdoor Heat Pump

Always make sure to check your heat pump’s outdoor unit for debris. During the fall, leaves and branches can build around the outdoor unit and clog the metal fins, which can hinder its performance. Remove any debris from around the unit so that your heat pump can function correctly. Trim vegetation growing around the outdoor unit to ensure proper airflow.

Professional Maintenance Keeps Heat Pumps Clean

While homeowners can do some of the cleaning process for their heat pumps, it’s best to call in professionals to help with other components. Professional maintenance can significantly improve the way your heat pump operates, increase energy efficiency, and help your heat pump last longer. In addition to inspection and servicing, technicians also clean heat pumps during maintenance visits.

During a professional maintenance service, indoor evaporator coils and outdoor condenser coils are carefully inspected and cleaned to ensure optimum system efficiency and longevity. The process to clean heat pump coils involves removing any built-up dirt and debris that may have accumulated over time, which can prevent the heat pump coils from effectively transferring heat.

Typically, this involves using a specially formulated cleaning solution that safely and effectively removes dirt and other contaminants while also protecting the delicate coils. Professional technicians also use advanced tools to clean heat pump coils to ensure that all debris is removed. A fin comb is also used to straighten out bent fins on the condenser unit to ensure proper airflow.

Professional Maintenance for Heat Pumps

Cleaning your heat pump is essential for its performance, efficiency, and lifespan. Regular cleaning and maintenance will ensure that your heat pump functions correctly and provides a comfortable indoor environment. Homeowners can take some steps to maintain their heat pumps, but it’s best to call in professionals for inspections and in-depth heat pump cleaning. If you need help with your heat pump’s maintenance, contact Star Heating & Cooling today to schedule an appointment.