(Important: Read This Before You Turn On your Heat Pump for the first time)
Before you attempt to use your heat pump check the following:
- Check all supply and return grilles to make sure they are open and free of obstruction.
- Check to see that clean air filters have been installed.
There are two kinds of heat pump systems: Package and Split Systems, but regardless of which type of heat pump you have, the basic operating principles will be the same.
PACKAGE – A complete system with the compressor, outdoor coil, indoor coil, fan, and blower motors in the same housing. This type of system sits outside the home and is connected to your duct system through the outside walL
SPLIT-SYSTEM – Consists of an outdoor section containing compressor, fan motor, and coil. The indoor section houses the indoor coil and blower motor, unless the blower motor in an existing furnace is used. These two sections are connected by refrigerant lines.
It uses an indoor coil, an outdoor coil and a compressor to transfer heat from the air inside your house to the air outdoors. Here’s how it works:
- A fan blows air across indoor coils filled with refrigerant.
- The refrigerant absorbs heat from the air and transfers it to the outdoor coils, then blows air across the outdoor coils to release the heat.
- The cooled air flows into your home.
- The heated air blows outside in summer, inside in winter.
- This is accomplished by using the refrigeration process which is basically that liquid refrigerant absorbs heat as it turns into a gas, and the gas releases heat as it turns back into a liquid.
Another good example of this process is in your refrigerator. The coils inside the refrigerator enable the refrigerant to absorb heat making it colder inside. The heat is then transferred to the outside of the refrigerator where it is released through the outside coils. You can feel this heat being radiated from behind or under the refrigerator.
Is it O.K for the unit to run continuously?
The amount of cooling is controlled by a thermostat that turns the compressor and fans on and off as necessary to maintain the temperature you select. In hotter weather, you need more cooling, so the air conditioner will come on more often and on longer. In the very hottest weather, the unit may run continuously for several hours.
What is “strip” heat?
Your heat pump is equipped with an auxiliary heating system. This so-called “strip” heating system warms air by blowing it across an electric resistance heating element, the same kind of heating element used in an electric toaster.
If your air conditioner is used with a gas or oil furnace you will not have any electric resistance heating (“strip heat”).
The control center for your heat pump is the thermostat installed on an interior wall of your home. There are many different types of thermostats, but they all operate pretty much the same. They have switches to select some or all of the following functions:
SETPOINT LEVER -A lever, usually near the top or bottom of the thermostat, is used to set the temperature you desire. The temperature you choose is called the “Setpoint.” (Some thermostats have two setpoint levers, one for heating and one for cooling.)
COOL -Turns cooling on when the temperature rises above setpoint.
HEAT -Turns your heating system on when temperature drops below setpoint.
AUTO -Turns on cooling or heating as required to maintain setpoints. Most thermostats have at least 4° separation between heating and cooling
OFF -Turns heating and Cooling modes off (The fan continues to run, especially in the FAN-ON mode.)
FAN-ON -Turns on fan for continuous operation.
FAN-AUTO -Fan cycles on and off with cooling or heating operations.
Choosing A Setpoint
For the most economical operation of your system, select the highest summer setting and the lowest winter setting at which you are comfortable. Typical setpoints are 78° on cooling and 70° on heating. Remember, your operating cost goes up by 3% to 8% for each degree lower setting in summer and for each degree higher setting in winter depending on the type of heating system.
Night Setback Thermostats
Night setback thermostats are available to automatically turn the temperature down at night and back up in the morning.
-Ask us for advice before installing a setback or “energy saving” thermostat.-
Here are some ways you can save electricity and improve your systems’ performance:
1. Keep all grilles and registers open and clear of obstructions such as drapes or furniture.
2. Keep doors and windows closed.
3. Be sure all air ducts are well insulated and sealed with a vapor barrier.
4. Let the sun in during the winter. Keep it out during the summer.
5. Be sure clothes dryers are vented to the outside (away from your outdoor condenser unit).
6. Fireplaces are pleasant, but most of them draw in more cold outside air than they heat. A fireplace may cause your system to run more.
7. Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans only when necessary.
8. Add insulation, storm windows and insulated outside doors. Seal cracks to prevent air leaks.
9. Keep your system’s filters clean.
10.Operating your indoor fan on AUTO costs less.
11.Keep lamps, television and other heat sources away from thermostat.
12.Keep power on at the outdoor unit at all times.
13.Never use your condenser as a stand for garden hoses or tools.
14.Use caution with lawn mower and trimmer to avoid damaging refrigerant piping or electrical wiring.
DANGER: SHUT OFF ELECTRICAL POWER BEFORE PERFORMING ANY MAINTENANCE TO PREVENT SERIOUS INURY FROM SHOCK OR DEATH
Your system is equipped with one of these types of air filters:
1. Glass Fiber (Throwaway) – Replace these when dirty. Do not attempt to clean them.
2. Plastic Fiber or Foam – Clean by soaking in mild detergent and rinsing with cold water.
3. Aluminum Mesh – Wash with detergent and water. Recoat according to the manufacturer’s instructions. They will not filter out dust and dirt as effectively without the adhesive coating.
4. Electronic Air Cleaners are available for your system. Please call for a free price quote.
Check your filters at least once a month and clean or replace them as needed.
Replace filters with the arrows on the side pointing in the direction of air flow.
Remember – Dirty filters are the most common cause of inadequate heating or cooling performance and of compressor failures.
These tips will help you keep your heat pump looking better and working more efficiently:
1. Free air flow is essential. Keep the outdoor coil clean and free of restrictions. Keep fences, shrubs and any other obstructions at least two feet from all coil air inlets.
2. Keep the coil free of grass clippings, weeds and other debris.
If heat pump is not working properly, check points before you call service:
1. Make sure the electrical power is on. Check circuit breakers or fuses for both indoor and outdoor units.
2. Check to see that air flow is not restricted. Indoors, check grilles, registers and filter. Outdoors, check coil and see that the fan is running.
3. Check your thermostat settings. The switch should be set to HEAT, COOL or AUTO, as appropriate. The temperature setpoint must be above room temperature on heating and below room temperature on cooling for the system to start.
Always Call for A Service Technician if….
1. You hear new, unusual noises.
2. The heat pump is short-cycling (turning on and off rapidly) and not cooling properly.
Periodic Preventative Maintenance by OUR Professional Service Technician will help keep your system operating at peak efficiency and reduce the chance of major repairs. This is recommended annually. Call for more information on our preventative maintenance agreements. Or, fill out this handy request form.
Record these numbers from the unit rating plate to use whenever the unit requires service or parts.
Model______________ Serial No._____________________________