If you're in the process of building your new home, and you've chosen a heat pump for your heating system, now's the time to learn about proper maintenance. This is particularly important if you're building your home in a snowy region of the United States. Your heat pump is going to be outside, all year long, which means it's going to come in contact with all the elements – including snow and ice. Because of that, it's crucial that you know how to care for your heat pump during the winter months when the weather can wreak havoc on it. Here are three things you need to do to take good care of your new heat pump.
1. Watch Where You Install the Heat Pump
When it comes to caring for your heat pump, the most important thing you can do is watch where you install it. Your heat pump needs to be outside, but it doesn't need to be exposed to hazards. Here's what you should consider when choosing a location for your heat pump.
Keep it Away from Gutters
If you're going to have rain gutters installed on your home, you need to make sure that your heat pump isn't installed directly under them. The water that pours out from the sides could end up causing a sheet of ice to develop over your heat pump during the winter. To avoid that hazard, install your heat pump away from the gutters.
Keep it Off the Ground
In addition to keeping your heat pump away from the gutters, you also need to keep it off the ground. Your heat pump needs to be on a foundation that sits several inches off the ground. That way, your heat pump won't be exposed to groundwater and other risks.
2. Keep the Ice and Snow Away
As stated earlier, ice can wreak havoc on your heat pump, but so can snow. Because of that risk, you need to keep the snow and ice away from your heat pump. Snow and ice can prevent the air from circulating around your heat pump, which will make the motor work harder and prevent you from getting warm air. A good rule of thumb is to inspect your heat pump once a day during the winter to make sure the snow and ice have not accumulated. If you see ice on your heat pump, be careful when removing it. Using hot water or sharp objects to remove the ice may harm your system. Instead, use cool to warm water to remove the ice.
3. Call for Service at the First Hint of Trouble
You never know when your best heat pump is going to act up, especially during severe winter weather. If you notice problems with your heat pump, such as strange noises or a lack of warm air, be sure to call your service technician immediately. Rapid response to minor issues can help prolong the life of your heat pump.