Prepare your heat pump for the winter season
Every year, winter arrives, and it's time for your heat pump to start working hard again. As soon as the temperatures begin to drop, there is less energy in the air, and the entire heat pump needs to work extra hard compared to milder weather. It's often during temperature fluctuations that some parts can break or you may notice that your heat pump needs repairs or servicing. The most challenging conditions are between -5 and +5 degrees Celsius in a humid environment.
However, there are several things you, as the owner of a heat pump, can do to extend its lifespan, reduce heating costs, and protect your home. As the temperatures drop, it becomes crucial to be attentive to your heat pump so that you can optimize and repair it well in advance of the coldest period, ensuring that you have heat and hot water when you need them most. This is also when it's most challenging to get assistance from a service technician since they are usually quite busy.
Leaves and snow can hinder airflow:
During the fall, leaves fall, followed by snow. Both of these can pose problems for the outdoor unit of your heat pump. Leaves can easily get stuck in the outdoor unit, obstructing airflow and potentially affecting the components. Therefore, ensure that your outdoor unit is free from leaves.
When it comes to snow, your outdoor unit needs access to significant amounts of air daily, especially during the colder part of the year when there is less energy in the air, requiring more air. Clear the area around the heat pump's outdoor unit to ensure free airflow.
Snow and ice:
It's not just the snow on the ground that can cause issues; equally important is the snow, especially ice, that hangs above the outdoor unit of your heat pump. Be particularly vigilant when snow begins to melt and slide down from roofs. Falling snow and ice from roofs can damage the outdoor unit, and the last thing you want is to be without heat and hot water in winter. There are protective covers available for the outdoor unit that can be installed above it to shield it from falling snow/ice. You can purchase ready-made covers or build one yourself.
Condensation creates moisture and ice:
During the winter months, your outdoor unit will produce a significant amount of condensation water. This is especially problematic between -5 and +5 degrees Celsius, especially when humidity is high. Therefore, it's essential to ensure that condensate water is properly drained. In the worst case, condensation water can run along the house wall and cause moisture damage to or on the house, or deteriorate the condition of the house. In winter, condensate water can freeze if not correctly drained. This can create dangerously slippery conditions in front of and around the outdoor unit, potentially causing damage. To solve this problem, you can install heating cables in the condensate drain tray under the outdoor unit to allow condensate water to drain properly. It's advisable to direct the condensate water to a drain or a stone pit some distance away. The distance between the condensate water tray and the frost-free depth determines the length of the additional heating cable you need.