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Heat pump maintenance can pay big dividends

After a cold winter and rainy spring, most Kiwis will be enjoying some warmer weather. Heaters will be stowed away and heat pumps will be switched off (unless they’re being used on reverse cycle to send chilled air wafting round the home). It’s time to forget about your heating system for a while.

Bad idea. After a hard year’s work, most heat pumps will need some care and servicing. So take a few minutes over the holiday season to check your system and give it some TLC.

Good maintenance can even save you money. The difference between the energy consumption of a well-maintained heat pump and a severely neglected one ranges from 10% to 25%.
Filters need to be cleaned regularly if they’re to work properly. Check the product information that came with your system for the best way to undertake this task. Clogged filters reduce airflow and make the pump work harder, which reduces system life, boosts power bills and can even damage the compressor.

What you can do yourself

If your heat pump is mounted on an external wall that’s easily overlooked, take a minute to check the outdoor vents. Plant growth can quickly obstruct air intake, so trim the vegetation and remove any clutter.

Get a professional technician to look things over

If you’ve had your system for a few years it may be in need of a professional service. Technicians aren’t just trained in heat pump installation – they also know how to keep your system running the way it should.

A qualified technician will do much more than give your heat pump the quick once-over. Depending on the make or state of the system, it could be due for a check of the refrigerant, filters and ducts. Electric terminals may need to be inspected and connections tightened.

You can also take the opportunity to pick the expert’s brains, and find out if you’re using the system correctly to obtain the best performance at the lowest cost.

An hour or two servicing your heat pump when you don’t need it could make a huge difference when you eventually do.