How Your Heating System Works - Part 8

There are heat waves spreading across the country, and we’re talking about your heater? That’s right! You may not need it now, but you’ll be grateful when winter rolls around, like it does every year, and your family is warm and cozy inside your house. That’s why we are now in Part 8 of “Home Heating 101” brought to you by GAMA Air. In Part 7 we wrapped up the explanation about heat pumps to help our friends and neighbors in the Beverly Hills, Culver City, Mar Vista, Miracle Mile, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Bel Air, Westwood, Downtown Los Angeles, Vernon, Huntington Park, Sherman Oaks, Encino area understand this somewhat mysterious topic. And at the end we raised these simple questions: How does this help me? How can I use this knowledge about heat pumps to get the most benefit out of what I pay on my utility bills? That’s what we will cover now in the next lesson of Home Heating 101. 

If you already read Part 4Part 5, and Part 6, then you understand how much your heat pump system relies on good airflow in order to work properly. Inside your house the air is pulled through the indoor coil to heat up the air. That also means the dust, lint and hair floating around in the air could also be pulled through the coil, which could completely clog it up in a few weeks. That’s where the air filter comes in. Regularly replacing the air filter, which protects the coil, is essential to keeping good airflow through the indoor unit. It should be replaced monthly, but might last up to three months. However, please don’t wait until it looks black and dirty. That would be like waiting until you get severe hunger pains before deciding to eat. If you try to save money by skimping on air filters, you will lose more money on increased energy usage. You can read one of our previous posts about air filters for more helpful information. 

But the indoor unit is not alone in needing good airflow. The same is true with the outdoor unit. Here’s two aspects about air flow at your outdoor unit that you should look at carefully:

  • Is the outdoor unit overgrown with plants? We all love beautiful landscaping, and you probably tried to hide the outdoor unit with strategically placed bushes and flowers. However, plants grow, and they are not smart enough to stay away from the outdoor unit of your central heating and air conditioning system. If neglected, the plants could crowd around the unit and restrict airflow. So at least once a year make sure you trim back bushes and shrubs at least 18 inches from around the sides of the outdoor unit. And you really shouldn’t have anything growing above the top of the unit.
  • Is the coil of the outdoor unit dirty? Over time it may get clogged up with dirt, grass clippings, and leaves. Cleaning the coil on the outdoor unit before each heating season is essential to maintaining good airflow and keeping energy usage down. But please don’t try to do this yourself. It may be tempting to just pull out your garden hose and blast away all the debris you see, but that could do more harm than good. The coil is very delicate and attempting to clean it without proper training will likely damage it.

It will be worth it to you to call a professional heating and air service company to check out and clean your entire system before each heating season. We can help you with this. We perform system tune-up and safety checks and we guarantee your 100% satisfaction on our work. So please call us at (310) 651-6936 to schedule an appointment or use our online form to request a visit.

How else can your knowledge of heat pumps help you? Stay tuned for the next installment of Home Heating 101 from the folks here at GAMA Air.

Do you have a quick question about your heating or AC? Visit our Ask an Expert page and get a quick answer from our resident expert.

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