As autumn settles over much of the New York area, and cooler weather blows in from the north, you may be taking these precious last few snow-free weekends to get out in the yard, mow the lawn one last time, trim a few shrubs, rake the leaves, prune the trees, and pack all the lawn care equipment away for a long winter nap. So, while you're out there in the yard with the rake, clippers, and pruners, make sure you go around your heat pump and clear away any leaves, weeds, branches, or bramble that may impact its performance over the course of the winter. Believe us. You'll be glad you did!
Trimming away the brush or foliage from around your heat pump should be a part of your seasonal maintenance every autumn. Some heat pump models actually require regular maintenance, by the way. Replacing air filters, as with your furnace, is the most common bit of maintenance. If your heat pump has a replaceable air filter, you'll probably want to have that replaced twice a year (consult your owner's manual to be certain). And as heat pumps are fairly complex pieces of machinery, you're best off calling in a service pro from an HVAC company to do the job right.
Back to the topic at hand. Clearing the grass, brush, foliage, shrubbery and whatnot from around your heat pump actually does two important things.
- First, all the green stuff that grows up and around your heat pump can actually make it difficult for the heat pump to get enough air flow to do its job well. If you hear the heat pump running constantly, and you see that it's choked off with grass and weeds and brush, it's a fair bet that the heat pump is struggling to do its job. And it's not doing the job very well. This costs you money. It hits you right in the electric bill, so get outside with the weed whacker and the pruning shears and give the heat pump several feet of clearance to facilitate proper air flow.
- The second thing that clearing the space around your heat pump does—especially during the snowy months—is prevent the falling snow from getting caught by brush and bushes around your heat pump and forming a snowdrift cocoon around it. This is bad. Really bad. If your heat pump doesn't have air, it's not going to work.
While you're out in the yard trimming and pruning this autumn, keep your heat pump in mind. If allowed to work properly, and without restricted air flow, your heat pump should help keep your home toasty-warm all season. The rule of thumb when it comes to clearing away grass, weeds, and shrubbery around your heat pump is to create an 18" to 36" air space around the sides of the unit, and to make sure that there's at least 3' to 4' of free space over the top of the unit (no low-hanging branches over the top). And, of course, if you need a pre-winter heat pump tune-up, feel free to call an HVAC company such as A. Borrelli. We're always glad to help you stay comfortable in the winter, spring, summer, or fall.
With licensed, trained, and insured technicians in Westchester and Fairfield county, homeowners count on A. Borrelli HVAC to handle their heating, cooling, and plumbing needs expediently. At A. Borrelli in New York, we do HVAC and plumbing right, so call us at (914) 301-7495 today!