Posted on 22 08 2022

Longer days, warmer nights, and heatpumps

With the hot summer months fast approaching, it’s almost time to switch your heat pump from heating to cooling. But before you do, take the time to perform maintenance to ensure it continues to operate efficiently and doesn’t blast your energy costs through the roof. Make the season-change your prompt to organise a regular service.

If your room air is consistently maintained at a comfortable temperature, it's easy to forget your heat pump as it works quietly in the background. But heat pumps require regular maintenance to perform efficiently and prevent damage to their components. A lack of maintenance and regular servicing may reduce a heat pump lifespan.  

In general terms, heat pumps should be cleaned monthly. The filter becomes clogged with dust. This reduces airflow and increases energy consumption, often between 10% and 25%.  A heat pump should also be serviced by a professional technician annually. 

Regular maintenance that you can do yourself

Pick a reoccurring date to remove and clean the filter. It’s a quick, easy task. Just lift the front panel of the indoor unit and slide out the filter. Then give it a quick vacuum or a wash with the garden hose to remove the dirt outside where it won’t make a mess. You’ll need to replace the filter after several cleans or when it starts to deteriorate. 

The outdoor unit also needs attention. Clean the coils and fan when dirt builds up. Ensure the power supply is disconnected before undertaking this. And remove any surrounding weeds, dead leaves, or clutter, The air flow around the unit must not be restricted.  

Plan a Regular Service

It’s important to service the heat pump before you notice an issue. If you can detect something, then it may have already caused damage. Schedule a technician to conduct a full service annually. If you plan to do this before you change the operating modes at the beginning of summer, you’ll have an ideal annual prompt. 

The elements of a service will vary between providers. Still, in the main the technician will do a deep clean, check the condition of components, test the fan and operating system, flush and test the condense drain, and check for any refrigeration leaks. 

How do you know if your heat pump is not performing well?

There are a few key flags that warn you something is a miss with your heat pump. If you notice any of these, contact a technician to do a service before continued use.  

  • Less heat
    Taking longer than usual to heat or cool the space indicates something is wrong. If the air coming from your heat pump when it’s set to heat is not as warm as it used to be it’s a sign that it’s not operating efficiently. If it’s not blowing warm air at all, then there could be something seriously wrong.

  • A hot while cooling
    If the unit is warm to touch when it's in the cooling mode, there may be damage to the motor or electrical parts. 

  • Less air movement
    If you can barely feel airflow, the compressor may be malfunctioning.  
  • Puddles
    While a little condensation from the unit can be normal, any sudden increase or leaks are signs of something serious. There could be a drainage issue or a refrigeration leak. 

  • Smell
    A foul or musty smell from your heat pump when it's in operation, may mean it has a fault or unhealthy mould growing within it.

  • Sounds
    Anything louder than a human whisper needs investigating.

Maintaining your heat pump and serviced regularly is an important part of operating this incredible air conditioning appliance. Greenside Energy Solutions are expert heat pump installers. We can provide the specialist advice you need to ensure your heat pump is reliable, effective and efficient when you need it most.   


As an Owner-Occupier You May Be Eligible for a Warmer Kiwi Homes Subsidy