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AAction Air Conditioning & Heating Co. Blog

What Are the Differences between Heat Pump Maintenance and Air Conditioning Maintenance?

Heat pumps can do the job of both an air conditioner and a heater. However, very little separates a heat pump from a standalone air conditioner in basic design. Essentially, a heat pump is an AC: it uses refrigerant to move heat from one place to another, absorbing heat along an evaporator coil and releasing it along a condenser coil. When in cooling mode, a heat pump’s indoor coil acts as the evaporator and the outdoor coil as the condenser. When turned to heating mode, the heat pump swaps the function of the two coils.

Because of the similarity of the two units, ACs and heat pumps have similar maintenance requirements. They aren’t exactly similar, however; we’ll look at a few of the crucial differences.

Whether you have a heat pump or an air conditioner, it needs annual maintenance to keep it running efficiently and with as few repair needs as possible. Call AAction Air today to sign up for heat pump maintenance in Hilton Head, GA. You can trust to our NATE-certified technicians for quality work.

Places where heat pump maintenance differs from AC maintenance

The component that differentiates how a heat pump operates from an air conditioning system—indeed, the key to the heat pump’s ability to perform two comfort tasks—is the reversing valve. This valve sits on the line exiting the compressor in a heat pump, and it either sends the refrigerant to the outdoor coil or the indoor coil. When you have the heat pump in heating mode, the valve sends refrigerant first to the indoor coil; when you switch to cooling mode, the reversing valve switches the direction of refrigerant flow and sends the refrigerant to the outdoor coil first. Air conditioners do not have this component, and making sure the reversing valve in a heat pump is operating correctly and not in need of replacement is one of the important steps in maintenance.

Another way heat pumps are different is that they have two sets of condensate pans and drains, since they must remove excess moisture from the indoor coil (cooling mode) and the outdoor coil (heating mode). Technicians must inspect and clean both sets of condensate pans, drains, and pumps.

Finally, a heat pump’s connection to the thermostat is different from a standalone AC. The thermostat must not only turn the heat pump and its fans on and off, but also control the reversing valve by sending a charge to excite it. Technicians will see that the thermostat is correctly operating the reversing valve.

Inspections and tune-ups require trained professionals to handle, so make certain that you hire only the finest NATE-certified technicians to take care of your heat pump maintenance in Hilton Head, GA.

AAction Air offers an excellent maintenance program with a 34-point checklist that will make sure your heat pump will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

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