Heat Pumps: Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
If you have a heat pump on your property, or if you are considering adding one to serve your heating and cooling needs, you may have a few questions. While heat pumps are relatively simple devices overall, there are a few points where the average homeowner gets a bit confused. Please take a few moments to review the FAQs below and you should have a much better understanding of this topic when you are finished.
Q: If my heat pump isn’t keeping us warm, should I buy a bigger one?
A: Probably not. It might seem like a good plan to just buy a bigger unit if you need more power, but the problem with that plan relates to the ductwork in your home. That ductwork was likely put in place based on the size of the heat pump, so upgrading to a larger pump would mean that you would need bigger ducts. Obviously, going back and installing larger ductwork in your house would be an extremely expensive project. There are a variety of potential issues which could be causing the shortcoming of your system, but simply buying and installing a bigger unit is probably not the best course of action.
Q: How long should heat pumps last?
A: Obviously, you’d like to get as much use out of your heat pump as possible, rather than having to buy an entire new unit. Like everything else, however, a heat pump is only going to last so long, and it will need to be replaced at some point. Unfortunately, there is no exact number of years that you can plan on your unit performing. If you do a good job of maintaining your heat pump, you should sail past a decade without much loss of performance. Hopefully, you’ll get to at least 15 or 20 years before it is time to find a new unit.
Q: Should I repair my heat pump as a DIY project?
A: Do not attempt any repairs on your heat pump unless you happened to be specifically trained in this kind of work. There is a significant amount of energy at play here and making a mistake could mean a severe shock – one strong enough to potentially be fatal. Even if you were able to avoid making any dangerous mistakes, it’s unlikely that you would be able to make proper repairs without training and experience. Do yourself a favor and leave this project o a professional.
Q: Should I buy a cover for my heat pump?
A: You might think that protecting your heat pump from the elements would be a good way to extend the life of your unit. However, you need to avoid restricting the air flow to the heat pump as it runs, so your cover should be a significant distance above the unit itself. Ultimately, it probably isn’t worth the hassle to cover your heat pump. This is a device that is meant to be used outdoors, and it should hold up against the elements just fine.