How to Maintain Your Heat Pump This Winter

Heat pumps are a perfect choice for many Nanaimo homes, which have comparatively fewer heating and cooling needs than the rest of Canada. They actually work in a very similar way to most air conditioners. Often, in fact, one unit can both heat and cool a house by reversing the same process of heat transfer, either bringing heat into or removing heat from your house. There are several different kinds of heat pumps that use these principles in different ways. Because heat pumps simply move heat rather than creating it, they are typically much more environmentally friendly than traditional heating methods. Whichever kind of heat pump you have, however, you should be sure to maintain them throughout the winter to keep them running at peak performance.

Here are a few tips on how to maintain your heat pump:

  • Protect your pump from the elements. Remove any dead leaves or other vegetation. Be sure to keep any snow or ice out of it.
  • Keep your pump away from the gutters. Wherever icicles form, that means there’s water dripping. If any ice or water gets into the internal mechanisms of the pump it can cause damage when the water expands and contracts with the temperature changes. Similarly, any ice that forms on your gutters may fall onto your pump, causing damage.
  • Check filters and clean the pump’s coils. This should be done particularly at the beginning of the winter to clear out any dirt or debris that has accumulated over the summer.
  • Keep your pump elevated and away from snow and ice.

The best way to maintain your heat pump is to have it regularly checked by a professional. At Norm’s Mobile Services Ltd. our journeyman heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) professionals are fully licensed and experienced in every problem that can happen to heat pumps in Nanaimo. Contact us today to schedule an inspection or find out more about whether heat pumps are right for your Nanaimo home.

Protect Your Pipes & Your Property

If pipes are old or damaged, they may have been structurally weakened and be more likely to burst. The most common direct cause of burst pipes in Nanaimo is, in fact, water. Although it doesn’t get as cold on Vancouver Island as it does in many other parts of Canada, it’s still cold enough that any water in our pipes can freeze and thaw many times during the year. This constant change in temperature causes water to expand and contact, putting pressure on our pipes. If your pipes have also been structurally weakened, your chances of a burst pipe only go up. Here are a few preventative measures you can take to protect yourself from burst pipes:

  • Insulate your pipes, particularly those exposed to the outside air or in an unheated part of the house.
  • During the winter, leave your heat on at a low temperature to prevent water from freezing.
  • Fix any leaks quickly. They can get worse, or weaken the overall structure of your plumbing. Your pipes are only as strong as their weakest point.

Even if you take every preventative measure possible, leaks and burst pipes still occur sometimes. Here are a few steps you should take if a pipe does burst:

  • Identify the source of the water. This may be more difficult than it appears at first, as any leaks or burst pipes in the floors or walls may not be where you first see water.
  • Close the stopcock (the valve that regulates the flow of water for your house). This will prevent any damage from getting worse.
  • Avoid any electrical devices. They can be dangerous with excess water around them.
  • Move any furniture or valuables away from the affected area.
  • Remove any excess water.

Of course, the best way to prevent any plumbing problem is to regularly have it checked by a local Nanaimo professional. Whether it’s just a regular inspection or an emergency situation, we at Norm’s Mobile Services Ltd. are here for you. We’re a family-owned part of the community and have been plumbing experts in Nanaimo for 45 years. Contact us today to learn more about your plumbing or any heating, ventilation, or air conditioning issues.

Tips on Your Heating, Cooling & Plumbing Systems

Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd. believes that a little preventive action can go a long way to stopping future problems before they happen. That’s why we offer our clients in Nanaimo and beyond advice on how to catch and prevent problems from happening, which saves both time and money. Learn more below, or contact us today.

Locate Your Hot Water Shut-Off

Knowing where your hot water shut off is located can save you money, time and effort if something goes wrong with your system down the line. Don’t know how to find it? Give us a call and we’ll do our best to advise you over the phone, free of charge!

Locate Your Gas Shut-Off Valve

This is another important shut-off, and knowing where it is before you have a problem will save you a lot of headaches. If you’re having trouble locating it, just call us and we’ll be glad to help you over the phone.

Save Money by Saving Water

It doesn’t cost much to install low-flow toilets and showerheads, but this small measure can save you measure and also benefit your community.

Check Your Hot Water Heater

Did you know the average lifespan of a hot water heater is just ten years? Be sure to check the age of yours before it’s too late. If you can’t tell your hot water heater’s age, give us a call and we’ll help you over the phone free of charge!

Check Your Hot Water Thermostat

For every degree you lower your water heater thermostat, you can actually reducing your heating costs by 1 percent! Factory settings for hot water tanks is usually 140 degrees, but we recommend dropping that to 130, especially if you have children or the elderly in your home. Not sure how to do it? Give us a call and we’ll help you by phone for free.

Quiet Those Noisy Pipes

Loud pipes keeping you awake at night? You may need to check your water pressure. If you’re not sure how, just give us a call and we’ll guide you over the phone free of charge.

Inspect Your Washing Machine Hoses

The hoses on your washing machine will wear out over the years, and a broken or burst hose can cause expensive water and flooding damage. Regular inspection can prevent this, and a reinforced washer hose can offer additional inexpensive insurance against these problems. Furthermore, we advise that water supplies to toilets and taps should use stainless braided supplies, and be updated if they currently do not. Older poly and copper supplies can leak or blow apart, resulting in huge floods.