For the most part, maintaining a geothermal system isn’t a do-it-yourself project. Geothermal heat pumps are generally considered low-maintenance. The heat pump components are located indoors, sheltered from the elements, and the underground heat exchange loops are guaranteed for up to 50 years, seldom presenting leakage issues. The little maintenance that is required is critical to getting the dependability, performance and low operating costs you expect from the system.
Professional geothermal service requires training and expertise specific to geothermal technology, as well as the specialized equipment that goes along with it. Here are four things you should know about what’s required.
Change the Air Filter
Any homeowner can tackle this task. All heat pumps, including geothermal models, rely on higher airflow rates than standard forced-air HVAC systems. Keep your system’s airflow up to specs with the simple DIY task of replacing the system air filter monthly.
Check the Flow Rate and Temperature
The heat exchange fluid circulating through the underground loops must run at a specific gallons-per-minute figure; 6 to 9 gpm is typical. To a trained technician, readings outside that range may indicate air in the system, pump problems or obstructions. Fluid temperature measurements entering and leaving the heat pump in both cooling and heating mode are also indicators of the overall health of the system.
Heat Pump Tuneup
Basic heat pump maintenance includes measuring refrigerant level and troubleshooting any low readings. Wiring connections to the thermostat and thermostat operation are also tested, as is proper operation of supplemental heating mode.
Clean Indoor Coil
The surfaces of this critical component sealed inside the air handler must be kept free of dirt and dust accumulation by regular cleaning with approved chemicals. A dirty coil severely inhibits heat transfer and impacts system efficiency and performance.
For more about maintaining a geothermal system, check out Ray & Son Heating & Air Conditioning’s geothermal solutions or call (229) 686-5531.
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