Heat Pump Operations and Maintenance

North Carolina is blessed with mostly mild winters, making a heat pump a great choice for heating your home.

Just imagine ultra-efficient heating and cooling from a single unit, all year long. There are a few differences from traditional furnaces to keep in mind, but overall operations and maintenance are quite similar.

How Does It Work

A heat pump acts as a heat exchange system, moving warmth from the outside air into the home. New models employ technology that’s effective at warming the home when the outside temperature is as low as 37 degrees. During the summer, the unit dehumidifies and removes excess heat from the indoor air to cool it and push it back into the home.

The heat pump is effective by itself down to temperatures around 25 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. At that point, either a gas furnace or an air handler with supplemental electric heat will kick in and help heat your home. Also, when temperatures outside drop very low the heat pump will automatically rely 100% on backup heat. This is to protect the compressor from the increasingly large temperature spread, which causes premature wear and tear.

Things To Keep In Mind

If you’re used to a gas furnace, one noticeable difference from gas heat is that the air blowing through the vents usually comes out hotter with gas than with a heat pump. While the air may not initially feel as hot to the skin, the home still maintains your desired temperature by the heat pump operation.

A heat pump puts out much cooler air than a gas or oil furnace does, which many customers are used to. Furnaces tend to put out about 130 to 140 degree air. In contrast, a heat pump running by itself (with no supplemental backup heat) on a 35 degree day, might only put out 92 degree air. On a 20 degree day, it might drop to 85 degrees.

Simply put, this is lower than your body temperature, so it feels like cool air is blowing. But, it is still warmer than the indoor house temperature, so it is still putting heat into the house. Unlike a furnace that puts out a lot of heat for short periods of time, a heat pump will put out less heat for longer periods of time.

Heat pumps are tremendously efficient, even in cold weather. The efficiency does decline slightly as the temperature goes down, but even at very cold, single digit temps, heat pumps are very efficient.

Maintaining the Unit

Monthly heat pump maintenance is essentially the same as other heating and cooling methods. Keep the vents clear, check the air filters and keep yard debris away from the outdoor unit are simple things you can do on your own to help protect your system. As with other HVAC equipment, annual service checkups are the key to maintaining peak efficiency, setting the unit up for a long operational life and maintaining your manufacturer’s warranty.

Our professional technicians will clean the evaporator coil, clear the drain lines, test for loose connections, clear away dust and dirt, and check the components for wear in order to help prevent failures during an inopportune time. Routine maintenance is so important for heating and cooling equipment that most manufacturers require it as part of the warranty terms.

Choose Carolina Comfort Air

Serving North Carolina communities from The Triangle to the Atlantic coast, Carolina Comfort Air is ready to help you make the right choices for your heating and cooling needs. Our service areas include Clayton, Raleigh, Fayetteville, Kinston, Goldsboro, Morehead City, Jacksonville, and Wilmington. We provide routine repair service, budget-friendly Comfort Protection Plans, top-rated equipment, and advice on saving energy. Contact us today to find out more about heat pump operation and installation options. We’re there when you need us!