Heat pumps offer plenty of heating during the winter, but despite their name, this type of HVAC equipment also runs well during the summer to provide the same cooling effect as air conditioning. Of course, your heat pump needs a little attention during the transition from heating to cooling. Make sure you follow these four steps to switch seamlessly into summer mode with your heat pump.
Calibrate the Thermostat
If you remembered this chore during the fall, you're probably fine, but it is often overlooked for years until there's a major issue with when the unit switches on. Having your thermostat calibrated at least once every year ensures that it sends the right signals for cooling as well as heating. When a thermostat goes out of calibration, you'll find it short cycling, switching on at odd times, or running much more than usual and gradually increasing your monthly bills.
Change the Filters
Heat pumps are particularly sensitive to clogged up and dirty air filters. Since they rely on much smaller diameter hoses and tubes to transfer air through your home rather than the traditional bulky ducts, any amount of decrease in air flow has a big impact across the system. Change your filters at least every six months and check them monthly. If you notice them getting dirty often due to pets in the home or dusty outdoor conditions, increase how often you replace them for optimal performance all summer long.
Tune the System
Heat pumps are a lot more delicate than either furnaces or air conditioners because they offer both heating and cooling from the same refrigeration-style process. This means that just switching directly into cooling can put stress on the system, especially if you skipped the routine maintenance visit last fall. A tune-up from a heating professional will include lots of little adjustments like
- Tightening electrical connections that work loose over time due to vibrations in the units
- Cleaning out the drain pan and drains so there's no moisture issues during cooling
- Checking refrigerant levels so you're not left with insufficient cooling power
- Replacing loose or damaged belts and other small parts that routine break.
Switch Off Emergency Heat
On some heat pump models, emergency heat must be manually switched off even though the unit is in cooling mode rather than the heating setting. It's easy for the button for backup heat to be pressed by accident if you don't switch it off, and many homeowners have mistaken the mix of warm air coming out for a broken heat pump.
You may want to talk to a professional from a place like Augusta Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning for more information on maximizing the use of your pump.