What is a heat pump maintenance?

A complete guide to a heat pump maintenance and why they are important.

Chances are if you recently had a heat pump installed or you have ever had an HVAC technician take a look at your system, you have most likely been told about how important regular maintenance on your system is.


“But what is a heat pump maintenance?”


“Are they even necessary or is it just another way for heating companies to charge me?”


The short answer is, yes. They are important.


Modern day heat pumps have hundreds of individual parts, and when you consider the fact these parts are moving and working all day everyday it is easy to see that overtime these parts can break or wear out.


One of the major benefits of having regular maintenance done on your heating system is having a professional out to make sure that everything is in working order and no parts within your system have been broken or worn out.


Along with making sure that everything is in working order, the other major benefit of having an HVAC technician out to do regular maintenance is the technician will take the time to thoroughly clean the system.


If you are like most people the only interaction you have with your heat pump is through the thermostat, or maybe changing the filters every now and again.


Because of this, overtime dust & debris can and will build up in and around your system, causing a multitude of issues that for the most part are not seen or felt by the homeowner.


So by having a trained professional in to maintain your system, not only will they make sure everything is working smoothly but they will also make sure to clean out the inside and the outside of the system.


Now that we have briefly gone over some of the benefits of having regular maintenance done to your heating system, let’s take a deeper dive into why these benefits are so important and what they can do in the long-term to promote a long lifespan for your system.


Stopping minor issues before they become expensive problems


As we mentioned a bit earlier, one of the major benefits of having your heating system regularly maintained by a professional is that they will be able to find any minor issues before they grow into bigger, more expensive problems. 


“Now what do we mean by that?”


“How can a simple maintenance stop major problems from arising?”


Well, having regular maintenance isn’t an end all be all when it comes to potential problems that can arise in your heating system, things can still go wrong or break randomly.


But by having a trained professional look at the system on a regular basis more often than not they can spot little things that could become a problem down the line.


For example, if a technician goes out to do maintenance and notices that a sensor has gone out within the unit he will go ahead and replace the sensor before it can cause any further damage such as a break in the compressor, fan motor, control board, etc…


Basically what a technician is able to do is look at a heat pump, know how it’s supposed to work and fix anything that isn’t working the way it is intended.


By doing this not only do technicians ultimately prolong the lifespan of the system but they can also save you from having to pay for costly repair bills down the line.


Maximizing efficiency and promoting airflow


Now that you have gone over how getting routine maintenance checks can help to prevent problems within your system, you are probably thinking.


“Okay, I understand why having a technician out to maintain my system can be helpful in avoiding problems and promoting a healthy system. But how does cleaning my heat pump help me?”


And that is a valid question, but once you really look at it, it is also very self explanatory.


When a technician comes to your home and begins maintenance on your system the first thing they will do is pop it open, look around and make sure nothing is broken or leading to problems like we just talked about.


Once that is done they will begin to clean the inside of the unit from dust and debris that gets sucked in overtime.


What this does is allows your system to freely move air in and out.


By allowing a unit to freely move heated and cooled air throughout the system and ultimately the home, not only will you maximize the efficiency of the unit as it is no longer working against itself. But it will also lead to better air quality in your home.


Think about it this way, if a shelf or table is dusty what do you do? You clean it.


The same concept applies to the inside of a heat pump but in this case since the heat pump is actively moving air around your home if there is excess dust buildup within it will also be distributing said dust around your home.


So not only will maintenance enhance your air quality within the home, but it will also make sure that no excess stress is incurred by the unit.

How often do I need to have maintenance done?

Alright so we now understand how important maintenance for your HVAC system is and the benefits it can have on your system, but how often should you have maintenance done?


Well a good rule of thumb is every six months to a year.


Some people do it every six months some do it once a year it is really up to you.


The main reason that some people do it every six months is if they live closer to the ocean that salty air can quickly cake onto an outdoor unit causing issues over time, so having regular maintenance helps to combat that.


But beyond that, if you live a little farther away from that salty ocean air then having maintenance done once a year should be sufficient.


Most heating companies will offer “maintenance agreements” where you can pay upfront for anywhere from 3-7 years of maintenance checks.


Usually you can get a pretty good discount if you go this route but if you just want to do them year by year that is completely fine too!


So if you have a HVAC system or are looking to get a new one soon, make sure to talk to your local heating company and ask about their maintenance agreements or schedule yours today.