If you have a heat pump instead of a traditional gas or electric furnace, the annual maintenance on your equipment is different but still necessary. A mini-split heat pump connects directly to blowers mounted on the walls, but a whole-house heat pump connects to an air handler inside as well as the duct system in your house. Here are five important parts of the system your heating service checks during an annual maintenance call.
1. The Refrigerant Level
A heat pump uses refrigerant for both cooling and heating. If the refrigerant line has a leak, your home may not get as warm as it should. The service technician can test the pressure in the refrigerant line to check for a leak. If pressure is low, the technician has to find the leak and repair it before adding new refrigerant.
2. The Reversing Valve
The reversing valve is what reverses the refrigerant in the system so the equipment can switch from air conditioning to heating mode. If the valve stops working, your heat pump might get stuck in AC mode. In that case, the heat won't turn on. The reversing valve can be replaced when it goes bad, but this may require dismantling the heat pump parts so the valve can be reached.
3. The Control Board
An important job of the control board is to defrost the outdoor portion of the heat pump. When outdoor temperatures drop in the winter, frost may form on the refrigerant lines and pump parts. This isn't usually a problem since the control board senses the condition and triggers the defrost mode in the heat pump. If the control board is faulty, your heat pump might ice over and not be able to heat your home.
4. The Blower Fan
Whether your heat pump connects to an air handler or individual blowers, the blowers have to be clean and operating properly for warm air to spread around your home. The heating service checks and cleans the blower since dust buildup can cause a malfunction. In addition, they may check the blower motor, wiring, and electronic parts. Damaged or worn parts are replaced so you don't have to worry about the blower fan failing when it's cold outside.
5. Refrigerant Coils
The refrigerant coils are where all the work of heat transfer takes place. These coils have to be kept clean or they can't work as efficiently. The heating service checks the coils to make sure they aren't coated with grime and dust buildup. If they are, the coils can be cleaned with products made for the job that won't harm the metal.
While finding and repairing worn-out parts is an important part of annual maintenance, cleaning is also essential so your heat pump can work efficiently all year long and keep you comfortable in your home. To learn more, contact local heating services.