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Winter Tips to Protect Your HVAC, Heat Pump & Wallet

In: Facts, Tips 02 Dec 2015

BlogPost-FullWidth_TipsCooler weather is here, and with it you’ll be switching from air to heat. By following a few short tips from us, you can save yourself time and money before you make the switch. See below for a few tips, tricks and top FAQs for the upcoming winter season… 

Before you fire up your sleeping system… 

When you turn your system on for the first time in several months, you’ll find that an odor similar to smoke will fill your home. The smell is created as the furnace burns the dust that has settled during the system’s hibernation. There’s two things you can to do that will assist in minimizing the smell: 

  1. Change the filter(s) and have your system cleaned and serviced for the winter prior to the first use. 
  2. Turn the system on while it’s warm enough to open windows and air out the home. 

Learn more about our maintenance specials!

Does anyone smell a dirty sock? 

There’s a condition called “Dirty Sock Syndrome” and it occurs when climates require heating in the morning and cooling in the afternoon. This condition is caused by bacteria that collects and grows on the indoor coils of a heat pump. You will need a professional to assist in diagnosing, eliminating and preventing further bacterial growth. 

My Heat Pump is blowing cold air. 

Heat that is generated by a heat pump tends to be cooler than that of other sources. While the output feels cool, heat pumps are ultimately a good, efficient source of heat. If it is generally keeping the house warm there is no need for alarm. However, if you find the auxiliary heat coming on in mild weather, with continuous auxiliary heat use, it is recommended to have a tech check the outdoor heat pump unit. 

Why does my Heat Pump look like it’s about to blow up? 

Your first instinct might be to take cover… but when a heat pump comes out of defrost in the heating mode, it can put off steam. There is no need for alarm. Defrosting is your system’s way of automatically removing any ice that has formed. Ice build up can dramatically reduce airflow and cause damage to the outdoor unit.  While in the defrost mode the auxiliary heat strips keep the heat flowing to your home.

There’s a melting ice rink around my Heat Pump… 

In warming mode, an outdoor unit will sweat.  This is especially relevant during the defrost process. When maintaining your system, keep the heat pump free from obstructions and be sure the unit is set to have the opportunity to drain.

But, it’s winter. Why would I run my fan? 

A ceiling fan set on low and in the reverse position, will help heat circulate within the room.

Power is out… what about my Heat Pump? 

In a power outage, it’s recommended to switch a thermostat to the emergency heat setting.  Once power is restored, let the heat pump function in emergency mode to allow the heater to warm up any refrigerant in the compressor.  This is recommended in any outage lasting longer than 30 minutes. It is best to let the system run for an hour after the power returns.

The best winter defense? Year round maintenance. 

The best defense against heating problems is to make sure your system is maintained year-round. Having heating equipment serviced by a reputable company at least once a year, could reduce your heating bill and prevent costly repairs and replacements in the future. Be sure to check out our Specials for Energy & Money Saving Offers

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