Heat Pump FAQs
Q: How can I tell when I need to replace my heat pump?
A: Figuring out whether you need heat pump repair or heat pump replacement can be difficult to do without a professional looking at it. This is especially true as the unit gets older, when every unusual noise and seemingly random spike in energy bills lead the heat pump owner to assume the worst. Fortunately, minor problems in heat pump operation don’t always mean the system has to be replaced – they usually just indicate one or two malfunctioning components.
If you’re convinced your heat pump is about to die, keep an eye on it over the course of a few weeks, paying special attention to things like uneven heating and cooling or reduced overall heating and cooling capacity. If your heat pump can no longer get conditioned air all the way through your house, it’s definitely a sign that something is wrong.
Now, if your heat pump is already 10 years old or older and it’s giving you problems, heat pump replacement might be the easiest option – especially if repairs are getting increasingly expensive. A brand new heat pump will be much more efficient and will save you money rather than trying to squeeze a few more years out of your existing one.
Q: What is the average lifespan of a heat pump?
A: Ultimately, the lifespan of your heat pump depends on how often it is serviced and how well it is maintained, but for the most part a heat pump should last about 14 years. However, new heat pumps with even longer lifespans are being developed every day!
There are also many factors that affect the life expectancy of your heat pumpwhich should be considered when you’re thinking about having your heat pump repaired or replaced. These include the quality of the individual components and the quality of their installation (and how well you keep up with maintenance!), as well as weather and climatic conditions and intensity of use.
Q: Can I repair my own heat pump?
A: Maintain? Yes. Repair? Maybe not.While you can do most of the cleaning and maintenance of your heat pump yourself, it’s generally not a good idea to try and repair anything major without proper training. Heat pumps are on a 240V circuit, meaning that severe electrocution is possible, especially if you don’t have a strong working knowledge of electricity. In addition, most modern heat pumps contain complex circuit boards and sensors and have to comply with strict regulations. Not only that, but heat pumps have a refrigerant that could lead to severe damage if it comes into contact with your skin. In general, it’s best to leave the major repairs to the experts!
Q: How often should I change my heat pump’s air filter?
A: Like your air conditioner and furnace, you should change the filter on your heat pump once a month during peak use (summer and winter months), and once every three months outside of that.
Q: What does COP mean?
COP is a measurement of efficiency when it comes to your heat pump and stands for Coefficient of Performance. It is measured by dividing power output by power input. Simply, the higher the COP, the more efficient the heat pump system is.
Q: My heat pump is set to heating mode but cool air is coming out of the vents. Why is it blowing cold air?
A: You may be expecting hot air to blow out of your vents if you’re used to a traditional gas or oil furnace. Furnaces work by pumping out heated air that can be 120 F or more. On the other hand, heat pumps pull air from outside and only heat it to about 95 F before ventilating it through our home. This temperature still heats your home, but will feel cooler on your skin or to touch.