How to Prep Your Heat Pump for Winter

If you haven’t already changed from cooling to heating, you’ll surely be making the switch soon! If you keep your home comfortable with a heat pump, the seasonal transition is easy because you continue to rely on the same equipment to heat your home that you did for summertime cooling. Of course, for the best results, you should prep your heat pump for winter with a few easy tips. Then, follow heat pump operating suggestions for maximum home comfort all winter long.

How to Prep Your Heat Pump for Winter, The Right Way

  • Schedule preventative maintenance – Your heat pump runs year round, which means you should have it serviced twice a year – once in the spring and once in the fall. By making heat pump maintenance a priority, you can expect improved performance, lower heating bills, and fewer inconvenient breakdowns.
  • Protect the outdoor unit from harsh winter conditions – Your first instinct might be to build a blockade around your heat pump to protect it. However, this restricts airflow and can damage the equipment. A better approach is to install a special manufacturer-designed cover to prevent snow and ice from falling on the unit. A windbreaker is also useful; just follow advice from a qualified heat pump contractor to ensure the structure doesn’t hinder performance.
  • Change the thermostat from “cool” to “heat” – Your heat pump’s ingenious reversing valve allows it to run like an air conditioner in reverse, pulling heat from outdoor air and bringing it into your home. Remember, this process of moving heat produces more lukewarm air than the high heat a furnace produces, but heat pumps still run incredibly efficiently because relatively little energy is required to do this.

Operate Your Heat Pump Properly in Winter

  • Learn about the defrost cycle – If this is your first winter with a heat pump, you may be shocked to find cold air coming from your vents on occasion. However, this is nothing to worry about. Ice has simply formed on the outdoor unit and the heat pump has automatically started operating in reverse to melt the ice. This defrost cycle should be brief and not impact home comfort.
  • Check and change the air filter as needed – Because heat pumps operate with longer cycles than furnaces, the air filter can become quite clogged with dust and debris. To ensure good airflow, check the filter once a month and change it when it appears dirty. Wait no longer than three months between filter changes.
  • Keep air registers open – To maintain a balanced system, at least 80 percent of your home’s registers should remain open and unblocked at all times. Check return and supply vents and make sure no furniture, rugs, or draperies block them. This promotes more efficient heating and helps you enjoy even temperatures in every room.

Schedule a Heat Pump Service Appointment in Fenton, MO

If you live in Fenton, MO or the surrounding areas, we can provide the maintenance your heat pump needs this fall. Call us at 314-845-5900 or request a service appointment online today! We’re happy to help!