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Maintaining your Heat Pump in Winter

By February 15, 2024Personal Insurance
Photorealistic image of a heat pump on the side of a vibrant Newfoundland home during a winter storm. The home, characterized by its distinctive Newfoundland architecture with colorful wooden facades, stands against a backdrop of a harsh winter landscape. Snow heavily accumulates around the heat pump, partially burying it, and blankets the ground, reflecting the severity of the storm. Snowflakes swirl in the air amidst strong winds. The rugged terrain of Newfoundland, with snow-covered trees and possibly a distant frozen body of water, forms the background. Warm light emanates from the home's windows, contrasting with the cool, bluish hues of the snowy environment outside.

Home » Blog » Maintaining your Heat Pump in Winter

In the midst of the current winter storm, which has blanketed the Avalon Peninsula with over 30 cm of snow, we have some tips to guide you in maintaining and cleaning your heat pump in extreme weather conditions.

How to Clean and Maintain Your Heat Pump in Extreme Winter Weather Conditions

Unlike traditional heating systems such as furnaces or electric baseboards, which generate heat locally, heat pumps efficiently transfer warmth from the outdoors, even in temperatures as low as -27°C. This technology can save homeowners up to 60% on heating bills. However, during very cold weather, your heat pump may not operate as efficiently, necessitating the use of a backup heat source. Moreover, severe winter conditions like freezing rain and blizzards can lead to snow and ice accumulation on the outdoor unit, impeding heat transfer and potentially causing damage if neglected.

Ensuring the proper cleaning and maintenance of your heat pump during a winter storm is crucial for your comfort and the longevity of your unit. Research indicates that the overall lifespan of an air source heat pump depends on the quality of installation and the homeowner’s maintenance efforts.

To safeguard your heat pump during the ongoing winter storm and enhance the efficient transfer of warmth into your home, follow these Wedgwood Insurance-recommended tips:

Clear Away Snow from Your Heat Pump:

  • Similar to clearing your walkway or driveway, make sure your heat pump is not buried under snow. A snow-covered heat pump expends more energy melting snow than heating your home.
  • After the storm, inspect the outdoor unit without using a shovel, which may damage the unit. Instead, gently remove snow using a brush or broom.

Remove Thick Ice from Your Heat Pump

  • During freeze/thaw cycles, water dripping from your home’s roof onto the outdoor unit can create blockages.
  • If a thick layer of ice forms, turn off the heat pump and pour warm water over it. Avoid using a shovel or sharp objects to prevent damage to the refrigerant coils.
  • In case of a thin layer of ice, the heat pump will defrost itself when the temperature drops to 0 degrees, continuing for five to 15 minutes until the ice melts.

By following these cleaning tips, you’ll ensure your heat pump operates effectively, keeping you warm throughout the winter storm while safeguarding the longevity of your heating system.

About Wedgwood Insurance

Wedgwood Insurance has offices in St. John’s & Corner Brook and is Newfoundland & Labrador’s largest independent insurance broker. We provide straightforward home, auto & business insurance advice. 

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Author Jamie Ross

Jamie Ross leads the Marketing and Communications team at Wedgwood Insurance, renowned as one of Atlantic Canada’s premier independent insurance brokers. Bringing a wealth of experience amassed over many years at some of Canada's most esteemed advertising agencies, Jamie transitioned to the insurance industry in 2017. This pivotal move has marked a period of significant professional growth and contribution to the field. A native Nova Scotian, Jamie has been a resident of St. John's, NL, since 2011, where he has become an integral part of the local community. Learn more about Jamie.

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