For extending your heat pump’s life and avoiding frequent breakdowns, maintenance is the key. Cleaning the air filters of your heat pump is part of HVAC care practices you should carry out as required. Most HVAC companies and manufacturers recommend changing the air filters of your heat pump every 3 months. However, some high-efficiency air filters may last up to one year before needing a replacement.
Types Of Heat Pumps
There are two major types of heat pumps.
Ducted heat pumps: They have all the components in one container that’s installed outside the house. It connects to the air ducts and provides warm or cool air.
Ductless or split heat pumps: Ductless heat pumps have two parts. The indoor air handler is installed inside the house, usually mounted to the wall. Whereas the second condenser unit is kept outside. They are linked with copper tubing.
How To Change Air Filters Of Ducted Heat Pumps?
Usually, you’ll find air filters in both the heat pump unit placed outside the house and the return air vents. In older houses that have a separate air return and supply register, each one of them will have a small air filter. Moreover, there will be the main air vent in the hallway or near the air handler.
An easy method of identifying return air vents is by using a piece of tissue paper. Make sure the heat pump is running and place a tissue near the air vent. If it’s pulled towards the vent or sticks to the vent, it’s the return air vent.
Changing Air Filter From A Return Air Vent
- Turn off the heat pump to protect the unit as the evaporator coil might get damaged if you open the vent without switching off the heat pump. Use the thermostat to turn it off and wait until it’s completely off.
- Remove the return air cover to see the air filter. Use the correct size and type of screwdriver to loosen the screws. Moreover, some vents are attached with metal clips so removing them is easier.
- Remove the air filter. If you don’t know which size air filter you need, the size may be written on the air filter. If not, measure the air filter to take it to the shop and tell them to get an identical-sized air filter.
- After taking out the air filter, clean the exposed area of the vent with a brush or any other cleaning tool.
- Insert the new air filter. The airflow arrow should point towards the air return. Correct installation of an air filter is critical otherwise the air filter may restrict airflow.
- Put the cover back on.
- Turn on the heat pump or wait until you replace the air filter from other vents and the heat pump outside unit.
Changing The Air Filter Located Inside The Heat Pump Unit
The air filter installed inside heat pumps is located at the air intake which is just below the evaporator coil. Heat pumps have various designs so the instructions may vary, but these steps are generally true for most heat pumps:
- Turn off the heat pump and wait for 3-5 minutes.
- Open the filter door that’s at the bottom of the unit, but it can be at the top in some units. The cover may be detachable. You may find clips at the sides of the cover which need to be unhooked.
- Slide the air filter out.
- Insert the new air filter of the correct size. When doing so make sure that the airflow arrow points inward toward the evaporator coil.
- Place the cover back.
How To Replace Air Filters Of A Ductless Heat Pump?
- Turn off the heat pump.
- Access the indoor air handler unit or cassette and remove the lid on top of it.
- Slide out the air filters.
- It will expose the evaporator coil. Gently clean it as well.
- Insert the new air filters of the correct size.
Changing the air filters of a heat pump is an easy yet important routine. Ignoring the maintenance and replacement of air filters can result in inefficient heating, poor air quality, frozen coils, and compressor damage. If you need help with replacing air filters or heat pump maintenance, consult heat pump repair services Tyson’s Corner.