When you schedule an HVAC installation project for your home, the HVAC system often comes with a unit that’s placed outdoors. One such unit is known as the heat pump, and as its name suggests, it transfers heat from the outdoors inside to warm your home. However, when it comes to the heat pump, some homeowners are plagued with the same question every winter: why is steam coming out of it?
Believe it or not, steam coming off of your heat pump is actually a good thing. This is because when such a thing happens, it means that your heat pump is defrosting. Once the unit enters defrost mode, the outdoor fan motor will stop running, building up pressure and heat to melt the ice. This, in turn, creates the steam that emanates from your heat pump. As stated before, this isn’t a bad thing, as it actually allows your heat pump to remain as efficient as possible. So long as you follow the proper maintenance procedures for the heat pump, it should continue to run efficiently even after the winter season.
In this post, expert electrician Broom Heating & Air Conditioning discusses how you can maintain your home’s outdoor unit.
Replace the air filter. The air filter of your unit can help you keep your heat pump in good working condition, and as such, it’s important that it remains as clean as possible. Otherwise, a clogged air filter can make it harder for your HVAC system and heat pump to work properly and efficiently. This in turn can result in your monthly energy bills spiking. With that in mind, it’s vital that you regularly replace your home’s air filter to ensure that your unit is always using a clean filter.
Keep the outdoor coils clean. Whether it’s for a residential or commercial HVAC unit, the outdoor coils are an important component of your heat pump. Without them, the unit won’t work as well as it should, resulting in problems that could be costly to repair. You may even have to replace certain components. Therefore, when you get a heat pump for your home, make it a point to keep the outdoor coils as clean as possible to prevent damage. To accomplish this, simply turn off the unit and use a heavy-duty degreaser before hosing the coils down.
If you aren’t confident in handling such a task on your own, on the other hand, don’t hesitate to turn to an HVAC maintenance professional for help cleaning your heat pump’s coils and keeping the unit in top shape.
Prune your shrubs. In addition to cleaning the outdoor coils, another maintenance procedure you should follow is keeping it free from any debris, such as leaves, twigs or dirt. Often, HVAC installation experts claim that one of the main culprits of such debris are shrubs that grow near your heat pump. In fact, if left unattended, they’ll not only deposit debris into the unit, but they can also impede proper airflow and servicing. Therefore, make it a point to keep the shrubs pruned back at least 18 inches on all sides of the unit to prevent them from causing problems for your heat pump.
Flush the condensate pan and drain. On the other hand, experts also recommend that you flush the condensate pan and drain of your outdoor unit every now and then to ensure that it always remains in top form. This is especially important if the unit is placed above a finished living area. Again, however, if you aren’t confident in doing this task on your own, you can always enlist the services of an experienced technician.
Have the unit inspected. Finally, the best way to maintain your home’s heat pump is by having a professional electrician inspect the unit on a regular basis. In fact, it’s recommended that you get it done at least once a year. However, it’s more prudent to do so at least two or even three times a year. By so doing, the technician’s trained eye will be able to easily spot any damages to the unit that may require an immediate repair or replacement and have the necessary fixes scheduled as soon as possible. This ensures that your heat pump remains in good condition all-year-round.
Make your search for an expert HVAC technician much easier by turning to Broom Heating & Air Conditioning. With 50 years of experience when it comes to HVAC repairs, replacements and maintenance, they’re one of the best professionals to turn to for your home’s HVAC needs.
When to Call a Technician
As stated before, when the outdoor unit produces steam, some homeowners tend to think that it’s on fire and call a technician when there really isn’t any need for one. While a steaming outdoor unit is no cause for concern, there are of course some instances when it’s best to get a professional involved, such as when the unit frequently goes into defrost mode.
According to HVAC professionals, heat pumps are made to only go into defrost mode periodically, unless your area is suffering from severe weather conditions such as snow, rain and sleet. If your heat pump is constantly going into defrost mode when it’s clearly not needed, experts say that this is a sign that there’s a problem with the unit. Often, these problems include a bad defrost control, a poor defrost sensor or thermostat, a bad outdoor fan motor, low charge or restriction or maybe even all four issues at the same time. If this is the case, it’s not recommended that you try to fix the problem on your own. Instead, you should enlist the services of a professional to confirm what exactly the problem is and to have them rectify the issue immediately.
If you need someone who can help you maintain your home’s outdoor unit, look no further than Broom Heating & Air Conditioning. With 50 years of experience under our belts, we’ve steadily become one of the leading experts to turn to when it comes to residential and commercial HVAC installation services, and we won’t let you down! We’re dedicated to giving homeowners nothing but the best when it comes to products and services. Give us a call at (803) 754-9409 or fill out our contact form to request a quote and enlist our services today!