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Preparing Your Heat Pump for the Winter

October is right around the corner, which means it’s almost time to switch from cooling to heating! If you have a heat pump, this means you continue to rely on the same equipment for heating as you did for summertime cooling. Still, take the time to prepare your heat pump for winter so you’re sure to enjoy a nice warm interior no matter how cold it gets outside.

How to Prepare Your Heat Pump for Winter

  • Schedule preventative maintenance: In a traditional furnace and air conditioner setup, homeowners are advised to have their heating system tuned up in the fall and cooling system maintained in the spring. Since your heat pump controls home comfort year round, you should schedule preventative maintenance twice a year to keep it running at its peak, lower your utility bills and reduce the risk of a mid-season breakdown.
  • Protect the heat pump from winter weather: In all seasons, your heat pump should remain unobstructed so air can circulate properly. However, you can still install a cover designed by the manufacturer to block snow and ice falling from the roof. Installing a structure to act as a windbreaker is also helpful for improving heat pump performance. Just follow advice from an experienced contractor to ensure these structures don’t impede heat pump performance.
  • Change the thermostat to “heat” mode: The reversing valve inside the heat pump should respond accordingly and begin working like an air conditioner in reverse, extracting heat from outdoor air and exhausting it into your home. Be aware that this heating method produces more lukewarm air than a furnace. However, because the heat pump is simply moving heat rather than generating it, it can work exceptionally efficiently.

Heat Pump Operating Tips for the Cold Months

  • Be aware of the defrost cycle: Moisture in the air can condense and freeze on the heat pump. When this happens, sensors automatically turn on the defrost cycle, which sends heat outside to melt ice off the unit. This is completely normal operation and nothing to worry about.
  • Check the filter monthly: Change it when it appears dirty or every 90 days, whichever comes first.
  • Keep air vents unobstructed: For even temperatures in every room, make sure furniture and rugs never block return and supply registers.

For more tips to prepare your heat pump for winter, or to schedule preventative maintenance, contact Arctic Air Conditioning today. We proudly serve Monmouth, Middlesex, Mercer, and Ocean counties in Central Jersey.

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