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Inspect Your Outdoor Air Conditioning Unit

Your heat pump, or air conditioning compressor-condenser unit, which is located outside, may have accumulated some leaves and other debris over the spring and winter. It’s time to go outside and conduct a little DIY heat pump inspection.

How to Complete a DIY Heat Pump Inspection

Since heat pumps are located outside, they are subject to Mother Nature’s forces. It is important to periodically inspect your heat pump unit for damage and fallen debris. If you end up cleaning or doing any DIY air conditioning maintenance, make sure you switch off the unit at your breaker or fuse box!

1. Check your wires and plugs for damage or corrosion.

If you notice quality issues with your plugs and/or wiring, get them fixed immediately before you troubleshoot your heat pump.

2. Never stack anything on top of heat pump.

It may be tempting to place things on your unit like garden hoses, landscaping equipment, boxes, or anything else, but this will only restrict airflow, causing your system to work harder. Even if you didn’t stack anything on top or around your unit, make sure nothing has fallen on top of the unit. Keep a minimum 24-inch clearance around your heat pump at all times and make sure it is easily accessible for your HVAC technician.

3. Inspect all around your heat pump for debris.

Your heat pump needs to breath. Although you can help your home’s energy efficiency by creating shade for your unit using trees, shrubbery, and other plants, periodically check your unit for leaves and other debris that could clog up your unit. Anything that could clog up the unit reduces efficiency and raises your utility bill.

4. Clean the condenser or heat pump’s coils.

When they get dirty and dusty, they really cut down on your system’s energy efficiency. Give it a visual inspection and see how clogged or dirty it looks. You can clean the coils yourself, however, you will most likely need to buy supplies that you don’t have. Call Cassel Home Comfort for a thorough and professional heat pump cleaning and maintenance.

We recommend scheduling anA/C maintenance visit from a professional who will clean your coils and inspect the entirety of your system. This can reduce your air conditioning bill by up to 40%. If you haven’t done so already, schedule air conditioning maintenance sooner rather than later.

It is best to schedule air conditioning maintenance in the spring and furnace maintenance in the fall before they start running at full-blast. It is really important for both your manufacturer warranties and your utility bills!

Watch this video and observe how a heat pump coil cleaning is done (make sure the power is completely off before you do anything):

Removing any leaves, grass, and other debris is important for keeping your heat pump in good operating condition. Consider a condenser coil cleaning every 1-2 years.

5. Check your heat pump pipe insulation for damage or deterioration.

Do this at the beginning of peak seasonal changes. The insulation on your heat pump’s pipes

Here you can see ice forming where there is damaged or missing insulation:

outdoor ac unit

Source: Knoji, ”Inspecting Insulation on Air Conditioner Refrigerant Lines

If you notice any damage or deterioration to your heat pump pipes, replace them immediately. You will greatly increase your heat pump’s efficiency!

Want to save even more money and energy? For tips on increasing the energy efficiency in your Champaign/Urbana/Mahomet area home, read our recent HVAC blog articles:


Call Cassel Home Comfort for a professional home energy audit and heat pump inspection.

We also offer a Home Maintenance Plan to help ensure you have regular HVAC tune-ups and preventative maintenance, which translates to more money in your pocket and guarantees that your warranties remain valid.

Call your Home Comfort Experts at (217) 866-1596.

We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you might have.

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