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Heating System: Heat Pump

Homeowner Care and Maintenance Guidelines

If your home contains a heat pump system, you should be aware of the performance characteristics unique to these systems. As with any system, read the manufacturer's literature and follow all instructions for efficient operation and maintenance of your system. Clean or replace filters once a month. Provide professional service for your system at least once every two years.

 

Air Circulation Across Coils

Keep the outside unit clear of any materials that would interfere with air circulation. Snow, ice, landscaping materials, trash, leaves, and other accumulating items can cause inefficiency or damage the unit.

 

Air Conditioning and Heating

A heat pump system operates differently from a gas forced-air furnace. The same system provides both heat and air conditioning. This is possible because a refrigerant flows back and forth in the heat pump's coils, controlled by a reversing valve. The heat pump removes heat from the outside air and transfers it to the inside air in the heating mode. The cooling mode does just the opposite, removing heat from the inside air and discharging it outside of the home. The thermostat inside your home controls this heating or cooling activity.

 

Air Temperature at Vents

Do not expect dramatic temperature differences in the air coming from the vents, as is common with other systems. The coils used in a heat pump system operate at lower temperatures than those common in a gas forced-air system. As a result, for example, in the heat mode, air from the supply vents will typically range from 85 to 90 degrees F. The vents will not feel hot, though the air discharged is warmer than the air in the room by as much as 20 degrees.

 

Auxiliary Heat System

Less heat is available for the heat pump to draw from the exterior air at the lower outside temperatures. Therefore, the auxiliary heat system will maintain the temperature you set at the thermostat from time to time. The auxiliary system will also come on whenever the temperature at the thermostat is moved 1.5 degrees or more at one time. Contact a service person if the light stays on when the outside temperature is more than 30 degrees F.

 

Defrost Cycle

When the heat pump operates in the heat mode, the coils outside may reach below freezing temperatures. Moisture in the air will condense into frost and accumulate on the coils under these circumstances. The system will go into defrost mode to clear accumulated frost from the coils from time to time. This is a normal part of the operation of the system and will occur automatically.

During the defrost cycle, the outside fan will stop temporarily. The temperature of airflow into the home will be a bit lower during the defrost cycle. The defrost cycle can only occur once every 90 minutes and lasts no longer than 10 minutes.

 

Night Setback

Unless you have a night setback thermostat designed to work with a heat pump system, do not turn the thermostat down in the evenings. Adjust the temperature a fraction of a degree at a time until a comfortable, permanent setting is found.

 

Register Adjustment

Registers will require adjustment from time to time to maximize your family's comfort. Do not completely close off more than one supply register at a time. This can restrict the airflow too much and reduce the efficiency of the system. A good technique is to completely open all the vents and gradually move the temperature until the coolest room is comfortable. Once the coolest room is comfortable, gradually close the vents in the warmer rooms until all rooms are comfortable. Reverse the process for air conditioning.

 

Return Air Vents

As with any heating system, return air vents must be clear, so the air flows through the ducts unimpeded. Avoid placing the furniture where it blocks the return air vents.

 

Troubleshooting Tips: No Heat or Auxiliary Heat Stays on When Outside Temperature Is 30 Degrees or Above

 Before calling for service, check to confirm that the:

8  Thermostat is set to "heat," and the temperature is set above the room temperature.

8  Breaker on the main electrical panel is on. (Remember, if a breaker trips, you must turn it from the tripped position to the off position before you can turn it back on.)

8  Filter is clean to allow airflow.

8  Vents in individual rooms are open.

8  Air returns are unobstructed.

8  Outside unit is not blocked by snow or other materials.

8  Outside coil does not have an excessive ice build-up.

 Even if the troubleshooting tips do not identify a solution, the information you gather will be useful to the service provider you call.

 

Parasol Limited Warranty Guidelines

Refer to the manufacturer's limited warranty for information regarding warranty coverage.