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Your First Winter With An Air Source Heat Pump

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Air source heat pumps are becoming an increasingly common choice among homeowners. These systems cool your home in the summer and can then be switched into heating mode in the winter. If the following winter will be your first winter using your air source heat pump to warm your home, then these tips may come in handy.

1. Keep the setting constant.

With a traditional furnace, you generally turn the temperature back when you're not home for the day in an effort to save energy. But with a heat pump, you're often better off leaving the temperature at a constant setting. Otherwise, the heat pump will have to work extra hard to bring the home back up to temperature when you get home. If it's very cold outside, the pump may not have enough "power" from the air temperature differential alone to make up the difference, so it may have to rely on its electric connection to generate the heat to do so. This will drive up your energy bills. Pick a temperature, like 65 or 68, and stick with it.

2. Watch for ice and snow buildup.

Make sure you take a look at the heat pump from time to time. If you see any snow or ice building up on it, clear the snow or ice away. This buildup can block the heat pump from effectively exchanging heat and can also increase the chance of premature rust accumulation. If your heat pump is getting buried in snow often, you may need to have your HVAC contractor come raise it further off the ground.

3. Trim the shrubs.

Before winter begins, make sure you trim any trees or shrubs that are near the heat pump. You would not want the branches to scrape against or get sucked into the unit. Trimming the bushes also ensures the unit gets proper airflow.

4. Empty the condensate pan.

Another thing to do before winter begins is empty the condensate drain pan, which is probably full after the unit has been cooling your home all summer. Usually, the condensate drain pan is located under the heat pump. If you cannot locate yours, look in the owner's manual to figure out where to find it.

To learn more about heat pumps and how to maintain them, talk to an HVAC company such as D & R Service Inc. They can also schedule an appointment to come maintain your system prior to winter.