Go Back

Heat Pump Maintenance: How Often Should it be Serviced?

hvac repair near Laurel, MD

Regular heat pump preventive maintenance is an essential part of keeping an energy-efficient system. It helps boost the overall performance and monitors wear and tear on equipment. 

Tune-ups are especially important for those that use a heat pump to heat and cool their home. That raises an important question for these homeowners — how often does a heat pump need to be serviced?

How Often Should a Ductless Heat Pump Be Serviced?

Equipment that runs during the warmer and cooler months should have a tune-up twice every year. This schedule makes sense because the pump is kept busy throughout the entire year. Ideally, these tune-ups will be performed by a trained technician in the spring and again in the fall. 

Having maintenance at these times allows the technician to check for and repair any issues before the two busiest times of the year. This approach ensures the heat pump will operate at its peak performance and maintain a comfortable setting indoors as the temperature outside changes. 

What Does Servicing a Heat Pump Entail? 

During your bi-annual inspection, there are several things the technician will do to ensure the pump is functioning properly. Here is the heat pump maintenance checklist your technician may follow: 

  • Check for the correct level of refrigerant and that there aren’t any leaks
  • Oil the motors, seal leaky ducts, and inspect the electrical terminals 
  • Measure the airflow in the evaporator coil 
  • Check that the thermostat is operating correctly 

The heating and cooling system should not be able to work at the same time. 

How Often Should A Heat Pump Be Cleaned? 

Twice a year, a technician will clean your indoor evaporator coils and outdoor condenser coils. But your heat pump benefits from more frequent cleanings. 

After the spring tune-up, the heat pump will be exposed to increased grass clippings, dandelions, and other outdoor debris. As your pump gathers the debris, you may find your pump needs to be cleaned weekly. Follow these steps to clean your heat pump’s outdoor condenser coils:

  • Turn off the unit at the source or breaker box 
  • Clear a 2 to 3-foot area around the condenser 
  • Remove the outer cover, which may require a screwdriver 
  • Remove the top grill and fan
  • Wipe down the coils with a condenser coil cleaner or soap and water
  • Rinse from the outside with a garden hose
  • Straighten any bent metal fins with a fin comb
  • Replace the top grille and heat pump cover 

You should now experience more comfort, higher indoor air quality, and a more efficient system.  

How Often Should a Heat Pump be Deep Cleaned?

A deep cleaning will help your unit last longer, although it’s best if you leave that to the pros. But how do you know it’s time for a deep cleaning? 

Use these tips to determine whether you should schedule a deep cleaning: 

  • Using a flashlight, look between the air vents 
  • Check the blower wheel for built-up dust, dirt, mold, or other gunk 
  • Look between the grills at the bottom of the unit for debris

If it has been a year or longer since your heat pump had a deep cleaning, there is likely a lot of buildup that should be removed.   

A heat pump deep cleaning is an involved process. The first step requires the front cover of the indoor unit to be removed and a custom bib placed around the sides and bottom. The purpose of the bib is to protect your floor and walls from the water and cleaners the technicians use.  

Next, the coil from the heat pump is sprayed with a foaming cleanser to help remove dust, dirt, and other build-up. Cleaning away this debris helps the unit absorb more heat. After the cleaner has been in contact with the pump for several minutes, we use water to remove the cleaner that we will collect in the plastic bib.   

Finally, the fan will need to be cleaned. You can find most of the dirt buildup in this area. After spraying it with a hose to remove the build-up, the dirty water collected below is disposed of. 

How Much Does Heat Pump Annual Maintenance Cost? 

Based on data collected from HomeAdvisor, the average cost to maintain a heat pump is $150 to $175. But this price can fluctuate depending on what technicians you use and the amount of maintenance your heat pump needs. If you need parts repaired, the cost can drastically increase, but this is still better than replacing an entire pump.  

Heat pump maintenance service technicians may charge around $50 to $150 per hour. This rate still can vary based on what issues your pump is having. The most common problems are related to the condenser, the thermostat, or the ductwork. Each piece costs a different price based on the needs of the pump. 

If you’re still questioning how often you should service a heat pump, contact us at Buric Heating and Air Conditioning in Columbia, Maryland. Don’t waste time searching for  “heat pump servicing near me.” 

We have representatives available 24/7 who are happy to answer any of your questions or schedule an appointment for your heat pump maintenance.