Below is a photo of a recent heat pump we serviced. The customer was experiencing very little heating. This unit was serviced by another HVAC company last year and they told the homeowner everything checked out fine at that time, so either the family pet that is in this back yard really is shedding a lot of hair or something got overlooked in the servicing of this unit last year.
Did you know that homes that have pets, regardless of indoor or outdoor, may require more maintenance on the homes HVAC system? In the Fall and Spring when the family dog or cat is shedding hair, it will often end up in/on the outdoor coil of the Heat Pump unit. When your heat pump is running, the outdoor unit is basically acting as a big vacuum cleaner and sucking up all the air, pet hair, and leaves that are in the back yard and pulling them through the coils at the side of the unit and attempting to blow it out the top of the unit where the fan is located. Unfortunately, pet hair doesn’t make it through the coils very well and it will build up a layer of “carpet” around sections or even most of the outdoor coil if left unchecked.
So what happens when your heat pump gets a minor build up of pet hair around the outdoor unit coil? Performance suffers! You get less heating for more electricity usage and cost. What happens when a significant portion of the coil gets covered in “carpet” of pet hair and dust? The unit really doesn’t perform very well and will often cut on and off as the high pressure safety switch is activated due to the restricted airflow across the coils which will eventually lead to the early death of your HVAC system.
So if you have outdoor pets, and especially if they like to hang out near the heat pump, take routine preventive action and inspect your outdoor coil for any sign of a “dust carpet” building up on the unit. To remove the buildup of pet hair and dust, most often the entire grill covering the coil needs to come off the heat pump. Cleaning can be done by using use a soft nylon brush to remove the bulk of the buildup, and then if possible, wash the coil from the inside out using a hot water soap solution. If the buildup is really bad and the coil is still dirty, a specialty coil cleaning solution may be required.
Call Comfort Keepers HVAC to have your coil professionally cleaned and system inspected to achieve the highest efficiency possible of your HVAC system.