How Often Should I Schedule Heat Pump Service & Maintenance?

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Heat Pump Maintenace

No matter what kind of HVAC system you have, it requires annual tune-ups. Heat pump servicing does more than just keep your home properly warmed – it also boosts energy efficiency and helps your system last for many years to come. Even the best systems endure wear and tear over time, but regular maintenance can alleviate a great deal of that strain.

In this post, we’re addressing some of the most essential questions in regards to heat pump maintenance frequency as well as its importance. Keep reading to understand when you need to schedule your next HVAC appointment – and what could potentially happen if you don’t.

Question #1: When Was Your Heat Pump Last Checked?

This is the first question you, as the home or building owner, must ask yourself.

It’s recommended that you service your residential pumps at least once a year. In a commercial unit, you may even need to service the heat pump up to four times a year – depending on how much you use your heating system.

Although all heat pumps come with their own maintenance instructions, the general rule of thumb is that annual service is the minimum requirement. If you want to keep your system operating at its highest performance level, you can’t skip this.

Has your unit already lasted for years without proper service? You’re lucky – it’s probably on its last legs. You’re beyond the date for scheduling professional maintenance.

Have trouble remembering to book your heat pump maintenance?

We suggest making a note on your smartphone or on your calendar, dating when your last professional checkup was. You might even want to set a reminder to set your service appointment next year. It’s easy to forget, but vital to remember.

Energy Efficiency

What happens if you don’t remember?

In short, if you don’t service your unit at least once a year, it will gradually become less efficient. It could even experience a shortened lifespan. Both of these consequences will impact your family’s comfort – as well as your bank account.

The average heat pump costs between $3,875 and $10,000 to install, and we’re guessing that’s not a price you want to face any time soon.

Question #2: What Services Do You Need?

Now it’s time to talk about what a proper heat pump checkup and maintenance entails.

All heat pumps need to have their filters cleaned regularly to avoid the buildup of dirt and debris. Not only does this keep the system running properly, but it also prevents your air quality from suffering. You should be replacing your air filters at least once a month or so, but if you’re not, at least ensure that your HVAC technician cleans/replaces them during your annual servicing.

A professional HVAC worker will also take a look at your filters, fans, and coils to ensure airflow is clean and easy. If those items are dirty, the airflow will be negatively impacted, and the compressor may even be damaged.

Other aspects of heat pump maintenance and/or service include:

  • Addressing duct leakage
  • Testing for leakages around flare fittings
  • Inspecting and cleaning fan blades, vanes, filters, and grills
  • Checking indoor/outdoor units for stability
  • Inspecting voltage, current draw, and electrical wires
  • Checking and cleaning condenser and evaporator coils
  • Performing test runs and temperature checks
  • Check the blower wheel for balance.
  • Measure and verify refrigerant charges.

It’s okay if that all sounds like a foreign language to you. That’s what HVAC technicians are for. They’ll handle the nitty-gritty details of your heating system – you just need to set an appointment. Don’t wait until a real problem manifests to call for help.

Question #3: How Old Is Your Unit?

Secure Wires and Outdoor Units Bogner CA

The next thing you need to think about is your heat pump’s age. Although many heat pumps can last for up to two decades when properly cared for, many lose their steam at around 15 years or so. Still, the more you care for your unit, the longer it will likely last – and the more you can put off buying a new one.

What impacts the life expectancy of a heat pump?

Several factors can actually affect how long your heat pump lasts. The type of heat pump, your location, and your maintenance is the biggest influencers on your heat pump’s lifespan. If you live in an area where you run your heating system almost every day, and if you don’t maintain it properly, the unit could die after just 10 years.

The older your pump is, the more you’ll need to check on it and watch for signs of aging. You can extend the life of a middle-aged or old pump by:

  • Ensuring its defrost cycle works properly and that no ice builds up on the outdoor coil.
  • Replacing/cleaning air filters regularly (as advised by the manufacturer).
  • Keeping all coils clean.
  • Scheduling maintenance with a real HVAC technician.

Although scheduling heat pump service may sound like a pain, you’ll thank yourself for keeping up with servicing when your heat pump lives almost 20 years.

Question #4: When Is the Best Time to Schedule a Heat Pump Service?

The fourth aspect of heat pump maintenance we want you to consider is the time of year. You might know how often you need to set an appointment for heat pump maintenance, but do you know when to make your appointment?

Generally, we recommend scheduling service right before your heat pump’s busiest time of year – most likely in the autumn. Think of it as your pre-season conditioning – your heat pump will crank out a lot of hot air in the winter, so why not give it a little tune-up beforehand to ensure it works properly?

Question 5: What Are the Benefits of Regular Servicing?

regular heat pump servicing

If we haven’t already convinced you that heat pump servicing is important, this is our last chance to do so. Let’s talk about some of the biggest benefits that come from regular maintenance.

  • Energy efficiency. The more maintained your heat pump is, the more efficient it will be with your energy. Your home already uses about 50 percent more energy than the average car in a year – and at least 55 percent of that goes toward heating and cooling costs. Why not try to lower that number?
  • Financial savings. Although you’ll have to pay for the annual service, doing so can save you money in the long run when you deal with fewer breakdowns and problems. If you’re avoiding HVAC maintenance because you’re worried about the cost, stop. You’d rather pay a little now than a whole lot next year, right?
  • Less time wasted. Maintenance might seem like a time-consuming chore, but trust us: dealing with significant heating repairs will require even more of your already busy schedule. Should you need to install a heat pump because yours breaks, you’ll need to dedicate roughly four to six hours to the task – not to mention time shopping for the right pump and talking to HVAC professionals.

You might not experience the benefits of heat pump maintenance immediately, but over time, your attention to detail and heat pump care will pay off.

Professional HVAC Maintenance, Cleaning, Servicing, and Repair

At Bogner Sheet Metal Heating and Air Conditioning, we understand the importance of preventative (regular) maintenance. For more than 70 years, we’ve been helping Santa Cruz County residents extend the lives of their heating and cooling systems, and breathe clean air at home. We don’t stop at enough – we go that extra mile to ensure your system is running at full capacity.

Are you well past your due date for heat pump servicing? Don’t worry – Bogner Sheet Metal has you covered. We’ll handle all of your maintenance to-dos, from cleaning coils to checking for leaks and other worrisome problems. When you see how quick and easy our heat pump maintenance visits are, you’ll never dread scheduling a servicing appointment again.

We’re standing by, ready to assist with your next heating system installation, heat pump checkup, or air quality check. Just let us know what you need!

Call 831-423-4322 or contact us online today. A Bogner Sheet Metal HVAC professional will be in touch with you shortly.

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Cindy Martin