Furnace & Heat Pump Maintenance & Inspection

Home Builder with Todd's Heating and Cooling

Furnace and Heat Pump Maintenance & Inspection

Just by inspecting and servicing these parts of your furnace and heat pump, you can improve the efficiency and extend the life of your system:


Air filters

Dirty air filters cause a reduction in airflow which overheats motors, wiring and heating elements. This can damage heat pumps which rely on a certain amount of airflow across the indoor refrigerant coil.


Indoor refrigerant coil

Wash coil with pump sprayer and special coil cleaner if needed. This has the same effect on a system as a dirty air filter. If customer is using an inefficient air filter or no filter at all, the coil will probably need to be cleaned. Blow out condensate drain line. If line plugs, water may overflow onto motor and electrical components causing costly repairs or damage to the home.



Oil motors on older systems. Newer motors have sealed bearings which don't require oiling.


Elements, wiring, switches & capacitors

The motors in a furnace and the compressors in heat pumps have capacitors which give starting and running torque. A weak capacitor causes overheating and premature system failure.


Refrigerant charge

A heat pump low on refrigerant will run much longer causing increased electrical consumption. This can cause damage to the compressor because refrigerant is what cools the compressor motor. If a system is low, there is most likely a leak, and the leak must be found and repaired before being recharged.


Heat pump refrigerant coil

Dryer vents next to heat pumps are the most common reason this coil gets plugged up. Restriction in this coil causes extra wear and tear also reducing efficiency.


Heat pump contactor

This is the main switch that energizes the heat pump. These contacts open and close hundreds of times a year, causing them to become burnt and pitted. The contactor should be replaced every 4 to 7 years. If not, this can damage the compressor.


Defrost operation

Below 40 degrees, a heat pump needs to defrost to remove ice build up on outdoor coil. A failure of the defrost mode will result in excessive ice buildup causing a loss in efficiency and possibly damaging the compressor.


Crankcase heater

This heater is mounted at the bottom of compressor. It prevents liquid refrigerant from entering into the compressor in the off cycle. Failure of this can cause compressor damage.


Electrical amp draw of all motors

All motors have a maximum rated draw. An above rated draw would be an indicator of worn bearings.


To have your heating and cooling systems serviced, call Todd at 360-624-4881 or go to www.toddsheatingcooling.com.


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Kevin Pierce
Cascade Builder Services - Tacoma, WA
New Construction Warranty Management

Great info Todd.  Do you serve anywhere up here (near Tacoma) at all?  I'd be happy to add you to my referral list.

Aug 04, 2008 05:58 PM #1
Todd Hanson
Todd's Heating and Cooling - Vancouver, WA
Toddnulls Heating and Cooling

Thanks Kevin.  I currently serve the Vancouver / Clark County area.

Aug 04, 2008 06:03 PM #2
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

The home inspector that I refer all my Clients to states in bold letters in his report, "Notwithstanding anything noted in this report about the heating and cooling system, if it cannot be proven that it has been serviced within the past 12 months [and they never have :(], recommend a complete system inspection by a licensed heating and cooling professional before close of escrow.]

It's saved my Clients a few times with a cracked heat exchanger that wasn't visible to the home inspector, or the running the cooling system at the inspection used up the final few drops of refrigerant, the rest of which had already leaked out.

Aug 04, 2008 10:41 PM #3
Todd Hanson
Todd's Heating and Cooling - Vancouver, WA
Toddnulls Heating and Cooling

Thanks Jim.  Very important to have it checked.

Aug 05, 2008 03:45 AM #4
Ray D'Arcy

My wife and I are currently negotiating the purchase of a home and our home inspector has pointed out that the heat pump and furnace has not been serviced since 1999.  There were records indicating this and the condition of the items showed it needs to be done.

Anyway is there any special inspections that you would recommend we ask to have done to these units or will a standard service inspection be enough?

my e-mail is rdarcysr@gmail.com

Thank you.


Sep 21, 2008 12:50 AM #5
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Toddnulls Heating and Cooling
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