Heat pumps are amazing! They’re able to both heat and cool your home, and they’re remarkably effective and efficient. In many ways, they’re very similar to air conditioners. But they do have some key differences. As experts in heat pump and AC maintenance in Houston, there’s something we don’t want you to forget. One of the most important things to remember about heat pumps is their maintenance needs. Unlike an AC unit, it needs twice-yearly maintenance. Here’s why.
Heat Pump and Air Conditioner Similarities
Your heat pump and a traditional central air conditioner, just like the ones that have been installed in homes since the 1970s, operate on the same basic principle. A substance called a refrigerant flows through tubes called coils. The refrigerant can absorb heat, and in doing so it will evaporate into a gas. It can also release heat, and when it does that, it condenses back into a liquid. In a traditional AC system, the refrigerant absorbs heat indoors in the evaporator coils and then flows to the outdoor unit’s condenser coils where the heat can dissipate.
The Key Heat Pump Difference
The special trick that heat pumps can do is reverse the flow of the refrigerant through the system. With a simple switch, the reversing valve can turn your air conditioning heat pump into a heater! The refrigerant absorbs heat outdoors—and can do so even during surprisingly cold temperatures—and releases it once it gets indoors. Amazing! But that means that the biggest difference between a heat pump and an air conditioner is that the heat pump is working all year long.
It’s always recommended that a seasonal appliance such as a furnace, boiler, or AC unit receive a thorough check-up by a qualified professional technician once a year. Often, this is done shortly before the season when the appliance will get the most use, so a heater is usually maintained in the fall and an air conditioner in the spring.
Since your heat pump has year-round responsibilities, there’s no long stretch of many months when it’s not being used. Moving parts in particular like the motor and fans accumulate twice as much wear and tear as those in an air conditioner. Biannual, or twice-yearly, maintenance is a must.
Since the times when it sees the most use are summer and winter, the ideal times to schedule maintenance are spring and fall. Dust and grime will be cleaned away, hard-working motors and fans will be inspected and lubricated, and coils will be checked for wear and refrigerant leaks. Electrical components and connections will be inspected, and the thermostat’s functionality and accuracy will be assessed (and it will be recalibrated, if necessary).
Once the maintenance is done, your heating and cooling powerhouse will be ready for another season of hard work.
Some of the benefits include a lower likelihood that your heat pump will need repair in the coming season, the efficiency and effectiveness of the system will be improved, the life expectancy of your heat pump will be increased, and it may even prevent your warranty from expiring. So do you still need to schedule heat pump maintenance for this season? Let’s get it done today!
Reach out to Cool Care Heating and Air Conditioning, The Best Care for Your Air.