Best Practices For Optimal Heat Pump Performance — Through The End Of Summer

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Today, heat pump performance is better than ever. The technology has advanced significantly over the past decade, and reliability and user satisfaction are high. Problems are generally limited to installation issues and/or maintenance. You can do your part to ensure that your heat pump runs at peak efficiency through the end of summer — and well into winter — by keeping these performance factors in mind.

Heat pump performance depends heavily on sufficient airflow, normally about 400 cubic feet per minute for every BTU ton of capacity. If airflow drops below 350 CFM, performance and efficiency drop. These steps help to keep airflow at the right level:

  • Change the heat pump filter on schedule. Check it every other month or more often during peak cooling season.
  • Verify that air from supply ducts has a clear path to a nearby return register. Closed-off rooms that don’t allow air to circulate back to the returns, along with obstructed returns, reduce airflow in the entire system.
  • Schedule an annual maintenance call to have the evaporator coil cleaned and the blower fan checked for proper speed and air volume.

Ductwork leaks
Leaky ducts can lose up to 30 percent of your conditioned air. Duct leakage in an unconditioned area like the crawl space or the attic degrades efficiency, comfort and air quality. Sometimes home builders don’t make ductwork a priority, because they think buyers pay more attention to style and finishes. Ducts in those homes can develop problems rather easily. Over time, leakage at joints and seams becomes common. An HVAC contractor can pressure-test your ducts to assess leakage and pinpoint the location of leaks for sealing.

Low refrigerant charge

Insufficient refrigerant charge causes coil icing, poor cooling performance and efficiency loss. Because refrigerant also contains vital compressor lubricant, low levels may also cause compressor damage. Proper refrigerant charge should be verified at installation and again after the system has been test-run. Continued low levels require a leak detection procedure by an HVAC technician.

Serving Cincinnati homeowners since 1910, Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing is the trusted source of home comfort and mechnicals. If you have questions about heat pump performance, give us a call at (513) 268-8400.

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"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
- Sarah B.
"Apollo is an excellent company. I always receive great service. Alex A. was professional and friendly. He kept me informed during the process of checking my furnace and heat pump to make sure they were working properly. The company makes sure you are notified who is coming and when they are on the way. All my interactions with the company have been wonderful."
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