Heat pumps experience far more wear and tear than a traditional furnace or air conditioner. That’s because, unlike either of those systems, heat pumps are used year-round. For example, in hot summer climates – such as the South, Southwest or other parts of the Sun Belt – they have to carry the same workload as an air conditioner in the summer while also provide heat in the winter.
As with all HVAC systems, professional maintenance is key to keeping your heat pump running properly and providing efficient home comfort. In fact, a tune-up can actually save you money by preventing in-season breakdowns and reducing your energy use.
However, one of the other main benefits of a heat pump tune-up is that it has the potential to extend the life of your system. In this article, we’ll review why this is, when you should schedule tune-ups, and how to get the most out of your heat pump for years to come.
The Importance of a Tune-Up
Annual maintenance can make a major difference for your home’s heat pump. Here are just some of the ways that a heat pump tune-up can help lengthen the life of your system:
Boost Energy Efficiency & Lower Wear & Tear
During a professional tune-up, the technician will clean the unit, fix any issues and adjust the comfort settings to maximize your heat pump’s energy efficiency for the season ahead. This also reduces the overall wear and tear that your heat pump experiences during the summer and winter months. And, better efficiency equates to reduced overall cooling and heating, which means the system runs fewer hours overall. Over the life of the system, that makes a difference.
Make Proactive Repairs
Many HVAC repairs start small and then escalate over time as the system continues operating with the malfunction. During your maintenance appointment, your technician will inspect the heat pump for any issues that might lead to major problems down the road. By fixing these minor concerns early, you can prevent additional stress on the unit or its components.
Preserve Your Manufacturer’s Warranty
Most new heat pumps come with a manufacturer’s warranty that protects critical parts and components for an extended period of time after installation. This warranty covers any manufacturing defects, the premature failure of select system components, or other problems not associated with normal operation. In other words, a manufacturer’s warranty is a good thing to have.
However, there is a catch: many of these warranties require that you schedule annual professional maintenance appointments to keep the coverage intact for the fully allotted time. From the manufacturer’s perspective, annual maintenance is the homeowner’s way of demonstrating their mutual interest in keeping the system running properly for many years to come.
Protect Your System with DIY Upkeep
In addition to an annual, professional tune-up, there are a number of things you can do yourself to ensure your heat pump continues working properly:
- Landscaping: Keep bushes, trees, landscaping and weeds away from the outdoor unit, as the close proximity of these objects could restrict airflow and reduce efficiency.
- Air Filters: Replace or clean your home’s air filter regularly to improve airflow and system efficiency.
- Usage Reduction: Program your thermostat and avoid major temperature swings in your home to reduce the strain on your heat pump. Make adjustments just one to two degrees at a time until you’re comfortable.
Schedule professional maintenance for your heat pump twice per year: once in the spring and again in the fall. This ensures that your system is inspected and maintained entering the summer and winter when you use the heat pump the most.
Get More Years Out of Your System
Just like your car, regular maintenance for your heat pump will help it last longer and run better as it ages. A mixture of an annual tune-up and your own regular upkeep can go a long way. When properly cared for, many heat pumps can last longer than their standard lifespan of 12 to 15 years. That means lower energy bills over the life of the system and more years between purchasing a new heat pump.
If you have any questions about your heat pump or how best to maintain it, talk to a local HVAC professional and schedule a tune-up. Your maintenance appointment is a great time to ask questions and find out what you can do to protect your system for years to come.