DIY Tips From the Warner Service Blog

Heat Pump Basics for Beginners

Posted by Warner Service on Apr 12, 2016 8:30:00 AM

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Your heat pump is probably something that your HVAC specialist mentioned, but you breezed over it because you were so grateful to finally have a working system in your home. Unfortunately, your heat pump needs a lot more attention than that to give you the best results. If you’re unfamiliar with the basics of a heat pump, here’s Warner Service’s guide to what it is, what it does, where it is, and how you should take care of it:

What is a heat pump?

A heat pump is found in your heating or cooling system. Using electricity, it’s a device that transfers heat from a colder area to a warmer area by using mechanical energy.

What does it do?

In the warmer months, the heat pump acts like an air conditioner by taking heat from inside your home to the outside. During the colder months, heat from outside is extracted (no matter how low the temperature is) and transferred to the inside of your home, acting as a heater.

Where is the heat pump?

A heat pump can be found in small appliances like a refrigerator or freezer, but normally it’s its own entity. You can find it outside of your home or in a central location like your basement behind that creepy door no one ever opens.

How do I take care of my heat pump?

Homeowners should contact an HVAC specialist (like Warner Service) to do a maintenance check-up in the spring and in the fall. For routine care, homeowners should change the heat pump filter twice a year. This filter collects dust and other allergens and moves air more freely throughout your home, all of which keeps your heating bill low. If your filter gets particularly clogged with debris due to an abundance of hair, pet dander, cigarette smoke, or cooking, homeowners should change it more frequently.

Heat pump filters sound really important. Where can I find them to change it?

Heat pump filters are so important for all of the above reasons. Homeowners can replace the heat pump filter after locating a room’s return-air duct register or the air-handler cabinet.

If you found the return-air duct register:

  1. Unlatch the register’s cover grille, and swing it out of the way or remove it.
  2. Remove the old filter and immediately put it in the trash outside.
  3. Use a damp rag to clean the surface of the register.
  4. Position the replacement filter with the airflow arrows pointed in toward the ductwork. (This will most likely be labeled on your filter’s packaging.)
  5. Replace the grille, and latch it.

If you found the air-handler cabinet:

  1. Turn off the power to the cabinet.
  2. Look for the door or panel that conceals the blower, which could be marked “filter.”
  3. Unscrew the door or panel, and remove it.
  4. Position the replacement filter with the airflow arrows pointed in toward the ductwork. (This will most likely be labeled on your filter’s packaging.)
  5. Replace the door or panel to the cabinet, and close it.

I checked my heat pump filter, and it’s not disposable. What now?

If your heat pump filter isn’t disposable, it’s meant to be cleaned and put back in. Grab a damp rag to clean the filter, and then put it back in the heat pump using the filter’s directional markings. Non-disposable heat pump filters should be cleaned more often than disposable filters should be replaced, so homeowners should make it a part of their weekly to-do list.

Thanks for the great info, Warner Service!

You’re welcome. Call us anytime.

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Topics: HVAC, Maintenance, Appliances