A heat pump style of HVAC system is an efficient way to heat and cool a space. Instead of generating heat or cooling air, it pumps heat either inside or out to warm or cool the inside of a building. While a heat pump may be more efficient than a traditional system, it may also develop more problems. Before you panic thinking your whole system is shot, consider these three common problems and what they mean.
Your Heat Pump is Running Constantly
This is not uncommon during the hottest months of the year. Your heat pump is struggling to get the temperature down to where you have set it while outdoor temperatures are soaring. Check your thermostat to make sure the temperature has not been set too low. Call for service if you raise the temperature setting, but it’s still running.
Your heat pump may also run constantly during very cold weather and this is not always a problem. Heat pumps run more than a furnace. However, if the outdoor temperatures are above 30 degrees you could have a problem: a frozen outdoor unit, leaking coolant, a broken compressor, or a system that is too small for your space.
Heavy Ice on the Outdoor Unit
It is normal for the outdoor component of your heat pump system to frost over in the winter, but ice is can signify a problem. It can also cause problems, namely your pump not being able to warm your space. Normally the outdoor unit should periodically defrost itself. If it has built up a layer of ice, this function could be broken. The unit may also be low on refrigerant or there could be water leaking into the unit from your eaves or gutters. Another cause of icing is snow piling up around it. To avoid this, clear the snow out regularly.
Cold When You Should Have Heat
If your indoor space isn’t heating there could be a simple solution. First check to see that the heat pump has not been accidentally switched to AC mode. Also check he outdoor unit to see if it is covered in ice. If these are not issues, it could be that your system has gotten dirty or has gone too long without regular maintenance. This can lead to long-term damage, so call for service and a cleaning soon.
Often an issue with your heat pump system is minor. A few troubleshooting tips may be all you need to figure out what is going on and what is needed to fix it. On the other hand if you have repeated issues, it may be time for a replacement.
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