Troubleshooting Heat Pumps – Is There Anything a Homeowner Can Do?

Heat pumps are very expensive, high-tech pieces of equipment — and for that reason it is not advisable for homeowners to try to perform maintenance or do troubleshooting on their unit; normally they will not have the training or specialized equipment to do this.

But it is possible for homeowners to keep an eye out for potential problems, and there are a few simple tasks that you can perform on your own:

One good thing you can do is to try and keep any and all air filters on your heat pump clean. If they are of the disposable type, you can try to order a few extras to keep on hand — then replace them when needed. If your air filter is the washable kind, then you can simply rinse under the water faucet to clean. During the heating and cooling season your air filters should be cleaned/replaced at least every other month — more often if you live in a very dirty environment!

If you can get easy access to   giso the fan blades, it would be helpful if you could gently clean them now and then. If you remove any accumulations of dust and dirt from the blades of your fan, that will help your heat pump unit operate more efficiently.

While you don’t want to go poking around in your heat pump, you should occasionally look them over — and if you notice any loose wiring, or mounting screws that seem to be working loose, or any cracked or broken circuit boards, you should make a note of this and call your repair service immediately.

While it is normal for heat pump units to experience a certain amount of ice buildup, if you see that your heat pump is building up ice and it is not melted away, but stays on the equipment all the time, this could indicate a problem, so you should again contact your repair service.

Likewise, if you notice severe or extensive rusting on the outside cabinetry of your unit, you should contact your dealer. In some cases you may be able to treat this rust or corrosion your self — but you should contact them anyway to make sure that this is not indicative of a larger problem.

Another thing you should be on the lookout for is if your heat pump constantly trips your circuit breaker box or blows household electrical circuit fuses. While you do not have the skill and equipment to troubleshoot this problem, your installer can come out at once and do an evaluation to make sure that any problems are taken care of.

Lastly, you should be on the lookout for any decline in the overall operational efficiency of your heat pump. If your heating/cooling costs seem to be climbing, or you are not as comfortable in your home as you were in the past, it may be due to a developing problem with your heat pump — but once again, only a qualified repair technician can determine the exact nature of any problems.

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