The Do’s and Don’ts of Heat Pump Maintenance in Gresham, OR

The Do’s and Don’ts of Heat Pump Maintenance in Gresham, OR

The picturesque city of Gresham, Oregon, is a pleasure to live in, with Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge just nearby. But it’s also a rollercoaster of seasons, with ups and downs coming as rapidly as the valleys and peaks of the mountain range.

That’s why maintaining a reliable heat pump becomes paramount for year-round comfort. Heat pumps play a crucial role in warming your house. Their upkeep is essential for all homeowners (even ones who like to ignore this responsibility).

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the do’s and don’ts of heat pump maintenance in Gresham, so let’s get started.

Family checking on their heat pump in a basement

The Do's of Heat Pump Maintenance

There are many ways you can ensure your heat pump remains in tip-top condition. Are you ready to see what these are?

Regular Filter Checks and Changes

One of the simplest yet most effective maintenance tasks is regularly checking and changing the air filters. Clogged or dirty filters can impede airflow, reducing the heat pump’s efficiency. For Gresham residents, where seasonal changes bring different types of allergens, checking the filters monthly and changing them as needed is crucial for optimal performance.

Keep the Surrounding Area Clean

Make sure that the area around the outdoor unit remains clear of debris, leaves, and vegetation. Trim any bushes or plants that may obstruct airflow. The outdoor unit needs sufficient space to expel air efficiently. A clutter-free environment helps prevent issues such as overheating and reduced performance.

Schedule Professional Inspections

Regular professional inspections by a qualified technician are essential for comprehensive heat pump maintenance. Gresham residents should aim to schedule annual or bi-annual inspections to catch and address potential issues before they escalate. Technicians can identify issues with components such as:
  • Refrigerant levels
  • Electrical connections
  • Thermostat settings
  • And more

Check and Clean Coils

Both the evaporator and condenser coils of the HVAC system should be inspected and cleaned regularly. Over time, dirt and debris can accumulate, hindering heat exchange efficiency. Gresham’s diverse weather patterns can contribute to the buildup of various particles. This makes coil cleaning a critical part of routine maintenance.

Monitor Thermostat Settings

Keep an eye on thermostat settings to ensure they are calibrated correctly. Gresham experiences both warm summers and chilly winters. That’s why adjusting the thermostat settings accordingly helps maintain optimal comfort and energy efficiency. Programmable or smart thermostats like NEST can be particularly useful in adapting to the changing seasons. They learn about your cooling and heating behaviors and then adjust the thermostat accordingly, without you ever having to lift a finger. They are highly convenient and help you save money as well by shutting down the unit or reducing the temperature when you aren’t at home.

Inspect and Clean Ductwork

Efficient airflow is crucial for the heat pump’s performance. Regularly inspect and clean the ductwork to prevent obstructions and ensure the even distribution of heated or cooled air. Leaks or gaps in the ducts can lead to energy wastage. You can even look into ductless heat pump options.

Protect the Outdoor Unit during Winter

In Gresham, winters can bring cold temperatures and occasional snow. Protect the outdoor unit by covering it during extreme weather conditions. This prevents ice buildup, ensures proper functioning, and extends the life of the unit. Make sure to use a fabric that is waterproof and resilient.

The Don'ts of Heat Pump Maintenance

Now that we have seen what maintaining your heat pump entails, let’s mosey on over to the other side of the equation. Here are some don’ts to keep in mind.

Ignoring Unusual Sounds or Odors

Are you the kind of person who just turns up the radio or TV higher when you hear random noises coming from your appliances (or car)? Well, ignorance might be bliss, but it can also be expensive. Unusual sounds or odors emanating from the heat pump should never be ignored. Squealing, grinding, or banging noises could indicate mechanical issues, while strange odors may point to mold growth or electrical problems. Prompt attention to these signs can prevent major malfunctions.

DIY Refrigerant Handling

Refrigerant is a crucial component for heat pump operation. You’ve probably heard about it in passing. Remember that its levels should only be handled by qualified technicians. Attempting to add or adjust refrigerant without the necessary expertise can lead to serious issues, affecting both performance and safety.

Neglecting Thermostat Calibration

A misaligned or miscalibrated thermostat can lead to inaccurate temperature readings, causing the heat pump to work harder than necessary. Gresham residents should avoid neglecting thermostat calibration. This is a simple enough task. But it can contribute greatly to energy efficiency and thus, to your heating and cooling bottom lines.

Neglecting Professional Inspections

While there are certain maintenance tasks homeowners can perform, neglecting professional inspections is a common mistake. Certified technicians have the expertise to identify and address issues that may go unnoticed during routine checks. Regular professional maintenance is an investment in the longevity and performance of the heat pump.

Setting Extreme Temperature Changes

Rapid and extreme temperature adjustments on the thermostat can strain the heat pump. Gresham residents should avoid setting the thermostat to drastically different temperatures within short time intervals. Gradual adjustments help maintain a more consistent and energy-efficient operation. This is where smart thermostats are quite useful. They will do all this adjusting for you so that you don’t have to.

Skipping Regular Maintenance

Perhaps the most significant “don’t” in heat pump care is skipping routine tasks. You know Murphy’s Law, right? Well, it applies very well to your heat pump. It will fail when you least need or want it to. This is unless you keep on top of your maintenance activities.
Person doing heat pump maintenance outside of a house

Maintaining Your Heat Pump Isn't Thrilling But Is Necessary

You could be doing a thousand other things with your time. That’s true.

But with regular heat pump maintenance, you won’t have to spend a lot of your free time dealing with technicians who need to repair your unit. 

Use Oxbow Heating & Cooling to keep on top of these regular maintenance activities, especially ones you can’t do yourself. Or if you are too busy. 

We offer emergency 24/7 services, so you are never left without heat in the freezing cold. Contact our team to set up an appointment.