If you have a heat pump installed in your St. Louis area home, then your home is heated by two sources: your heat pump and a backup furnace. This is different than a conventional heating and cooling system, which only uses a furnace to heat the home. Today we're going to help owners of heat pumps know how to best transition to the heating season by talking about how to take care of your heat pump and backup furnace and get them ready for this upcoming winter!
How to take care of your heat pump and prepare it for winter
- Schedule a heat pump tune-up this fall. Even though your heat pump stays active all year long, you should still schedule a tune-up for it twice a year. In fact, it's all the more important that you get a tune-up before winter hits because your heat pump might have developed problems while operating this past cooling season. In addition, your heat pump has a backup furnace that you'll want to have inspected and tuned-up before you start using it. Scheduling a tune-up is the best way to avoid problems with your heat pump and backup furnace later on this winter.
- Know your heat pump thermostat settings. If you have a heat pump, your thermostat likely has three settings: heat, cool and emergency heat. When you want to use your heat pump to heat your home, switch it to the "heat" mode and not the "emergency heat" mode. The emergency heat mode should only be used when your heat pump is broken down or covered in ice. By switching to emergency heat, you will bypass the heat pump and only use your backup furnace while your heat pump is defrosting or repaired. Keep in mind that your heating system will automatically switch to your backup furnace when the temperatures are too low for your heat pump to handle - you do not have to manually switch your system to emergency heat in order to do so.
- Change your air filter. Perhaps the most important task you have as the owner of a heat pump is to regularly change your air filter. A dirty filter will block airflow to your system, which will increase its energy consumption and lead to all sorts of operational problems.
- Remove branches and debris from your outdoor unit. Unlike conventional heating and cooling systems, a heat pump uses its outside unit during winter. As it gets colder and leaves begin to fall, branches can break off of trees and get lodged in your outdoor unit's fan. Be sure to remove any debris that you notice building up on your heat pump's outdoor unit, especially during this transitional season.
- Remove snow from your outdoor unit. After a heavy winter storm, a lot of snow might have accumulated on your heat pump's outdoor unit. Be sure to check on your unit and remove any snow buildup that you find so that your heat pump can breathe easy.
- Contact Jerry Kelly if you're experiencing problems. As with any type of heating and cooling system, it's important to contact a professional like Jerry Kelly as soon as you notice something's wrong. The sooner you have the problem taken care of, the less damage your heat pump will suffer from.
If you have any questions about how to take care of your heat pump in winter, or if you'd like a heating system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Charles, MO, furnace installation and repair contractor. We service the St. Louis area, including towns like St. Paul, St. Peters and Town and Country, MO.