Care and feeding of a Heat Pump In Nova Scotia
Now that you’ve had your new heat pump installed, here are some important points to remember. Follow these guidelines and you will enjoy many years of satisfactory performance from your investment.
Heat Pump Warranty
Shines Energy registers every heat pump we install with Comfort Shield and with Lennox. You will receive a confirming email from the insurer. Please watch for this email it typically comes 1-7 days after the installation is 100% complete and paid for.
Heat Pump Filters
Renovations – All Heat Pump systems are susceptible to failure if the filter and indoor coils become clogged due to excess dust and other particulates. This is especially notable during any type of construction or renovation. For example, wallboard dust can be very damaging and is easily drawn into the system.
If heating is required during a renovation to cure dry taping or paint, we encourage you to use an alternate source of heat unless you have fully completed your clean-up. NEVER use a heat pump for cooling when drywall dust is present.
NOTE: Any such use where damage results will void the warranty.
Controlling Your Heat Pump – Thermostats and Remote Controls
Understanding how to control your heat pump is key to getting the most out of your system. All come with a manual that explains the key functions – make sure you have this manual and that you make the time to read it! The thermostats or remotes tell you what your system is doing, and, in the case of ducted, central systems, you will know if your auxiliary heat is on (or not), essential to maximizing your energy savings.
A heat pump works best when the thermostat is set to a constant temperature. For ducted systems, moving the temperature up by more than two degrees will force the unit to go to auxiliary heat (i.e. the electric back-up elements in your air handler). Those elements will stay on until the room reaches that temperature. So, to achieve the best efficiency with your heat pump, avoid asking it to warm (or cool) your home with thermostat settings of more than one or two degrees at a time.
Away for travel If you are going to be away from your home for an extended period of time, then, yes, set the thermostat accordingly. However, if a winter trip, remember that when you return, bring the temperature back gradually or you will be faced with much higher than usual power consumption that will be reflected in your power bill.
For ductless systems, this also holds true except there is no back-up element other than your primary heating system. Again, the unit will work much more efficiently if a constant temperature is maintained.
Heat Pump Maintenance
Keep Your Unit Clean– The outside units (condensers) are exposed to dust, plant debris, airborne particulate and possibly other contaminants unique to your location. All of this can get into the coils and fins resulting in a reduction in efficiency. Check your unit at least once a month for any such issues. Any unusual amount of debris can usually be cleaned out with a soft brush or forced air. (remember to turn off first) Low pressure water can also be used to keep the unit clean, especially around the bottom plate which has holes in it, a feature common to all heat pumps.
Your indoor coil has a filter and needs to be checked regularly and cleaned if required. The indoor coil may require a deep cleaning every few years. How often this may be required depends on where the indoor coil is located and what type of occupancy is in the area. (if you see black spots or debris on the coil or fan blade)
Heat Pumps and Snow!
SNOW AND ICE: Keeping heat pumps clear of snow and ice is essential. If snow accumulates under the base, water draining from the unit (during DEFROST operation) might form ice and back up into the unit. That ice can then ‘migrate’ up into the coil and restrict air flow and may damage the fan and outdoor coil. The unit will still work but not as efficiently.
Snow around the unit will restrict air flow, causing a loss in efficiency and heating capacity.
REMEDY: If your unit has ice around it or under the stand and up into the coils, shovel the snow away. If there is ice, warm tap water directed to the heaviest ice will help to melt it. (turn off heat pump first) Remember that the outside unit (the condenser) is designed to be weatherproof, and some warm water (never boiling) will not damage it. Running a hose from your water heater to the outside unit works well.
CAUTION: When removing ice, it’s tempting to go at it with a scraper or some other hard object. However, it is very easy to damage the fins on the coil – be careful if you’re giving the unit a few gentle taps to help with clearing. Be careful also not to damage any of the refrigeration, electrical or condensate lines.
Annual Inspection / Preventative Maintenance is required to maintain your Lennox warranty. With a service contract, a certified technician will have a look at your equipment once a year. He will check the wiring, piping connections, the condition of the outdoor and indoor coils. He may recommend that cleaning of the coils if required and will perform tests to ensure the heat pump is producing heating or cooling to factory specs.
For further information on service contracts and other matters related to your heating solution, contact Shines Energy.
Ductless Heat Pumps
Ductless heat pumps are area heaters, sophisticated and energy-efficient but still area heaters. They deliver heating or cooling to the area where they are located. In most cases, a mini-split cannot distribute heat or cooling to all parts of a home.
Warm air raises, when a ductless heat pump is installed near an open stairway, the warm air will flow up the stairs. This may overheat the upper level and not fully heat the area the heat pump is in. The upper area must be heated to ensure the heat from the ductless heat pump will stay in the area it is intended to heat.
- Ductless heat pumps modulate across a temperature range. When in heating the room will be below the set point before the unit comes on and above the setpoint when it goes off. Between starting and stopping the unit will run constantly to produce the best comfort in the room
- Ductless heat pumps measure the temperature at the head, near the ceiling (typically). When in heating the fan needs to be on a higher speed to ensure the warm air is not rising to the ceiling and affecting the apparent room temperature
- There is a fixed temperature offset to account for the fact that the ceiling is always warmer than the room temperature. This offset can be modified through programming but does require a technician visit
- The follow-me function on the remote control uses the temperature at the remote sensor to change the offset. The remote must be visible to the head to work as the remote uses light to communicate. Similar to many TV remotes
Shines Energy is committed to your ongoing success with your heat pump and HVAC equipment. Please check out our website for videos and FAQ’s on how to be successful with your heat pump. Please remember we are only a phone call away 902-918-0566. We can always assist you with your questions.