Heat Pump Maintenance

No equipment can perform efficiently and smoothly if it doesn’t undergo regular maintenance. Your heat pump system’s performance will steadily deteriorate if maintenance and refrigeration is neglected. It’s best to perform maintenance and refrigeration checks at least once a year.

Unless you have the experience and equipment needed to do the maintenance and refrigeration checks yourself, you should contract a HVAC professional. Still, it’s important that you know what maintenance will involve. 

Healthy Homes Standards

The healthy homes standards became law on 1 July 2019.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a minimum indoor temperature of 18˚C. By installing a heater that can reach this temperature on the coldest days of the year, occupants will be able to keep warm all year round.

All private rentals must comply within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy after 1 July 2021, with all private rentals complying by 1 July 2024.  All boarding houses must comply by 1 July 2021. All houses rented by Kāinga Ora (formerly Housing New Zealand) and registered Community Housing Providers must comply by 1 July 2023.

Landlords are responsible for maintaining any heaters and ventilation systems.

When a home is warm and dry, the occupants are less likely to suffer health problems caused by cold and damp. This includes respiratory illnesses like asthma and more serious diseases like rheumatic fever.

Heat Pump Refrigeration Maintenance

Refrigerant Check

Heat pump systems are charged with refrigerant at the factory. Over time and with use, tiny leaks can slowly lower the refrigerant level. The system will not work as required if the refrigerant isn’t at the factory-specified level. Heat output can seriously be affected. Check for leaks, carry out repairs to rectify any leakage, and charge refrigerant as necessary by contacting a HVAC professional.

Air Filter Clean

Air filters trap and eliminate dust and other particulates in the air. This prevents these tiny pollutants and pathogens from getting sucked into a room via the heat pump system. A dirty air filter can interfere with the smooth, unobstructed flow of air and can be much less efficient at capturing particulates.

In addition to annual or semi-annual scheduled maintenance, check your air filters once a month and wash or replace them if they appear dirty. The frequency of changing your air filters is dependent on the general quality of air in your area. Places with cleaner air can get by with washing or replacing air filters quarterly.

Clear Outdoor Unit

Shrubs, long grass, dust, mud, leaves, dead insects, and other objects on and around the outdoor unit can hamper airflow, decrease heat discharge, and thus degrade the heat pump system’s overall function.

You should keep the outdoor unit clean and also should clear the area around it to ensure there are no obstructions. At the minimum, you should have two feet of clearance around the unit though five feet would be preferable.

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