I handle the year round temperature control for my home with an electric heat pump. One of the main benefits of a heat pump is that it combines heating and cooling capability into a single unit. Although the system was extremely expensive to purchase and install, I only needed to make the one investment. During the summer months, the heat pump operates very much like a conventional air conditioner. It pulls heat from indoor air and pumps it outside through the transition of refrigerant from liquid to gas. During the winter, the heat pump literally reverses operation. It draws ambient warmth from outside air, compresses it to a higher temperature and moves it into the home. The process is exceptionally clean, quiet and energy efficient. However, the heat pump runs just about all year round. It experiences a great deal of wear and tear. While I only need to hire service for the one component, regular maintenance is extremely important. Even a minor buildup of dust within the inner workings can lead to a costly repair. Contaminants such as dust, pollen, dander, mold and mildew restrict airflow, compromise moving parts, and lead to extended running times. The added wear and tear increases the possibility of malfunction and causes higher energy bills. I have enrolled in a maintenance program with a local HVAC contractor. The program includes two service visits per year. A licensed HVAC technician meticulously inspects, cleans and adjusts all components to ensure peak performance. This service pays for itself. Not only does professional service fulfill manufacturer’s warranty requirements, but promotes superior energy efficiency, reliability, and system longevity.