Just like any system, heat pumps are susceptible to the occasional problem over years of normal use. Also like any other system, the chances of a heat pump developing problems go up during times of heavy usage. If you’re using a heat pump to keep warm this winter, you’re putting the system under more stress than it usually has to deal with. You should keep an eye out for any problems that may crop up as a result of this stress. Lets’ take a look at some common heat pump problems you should watch for.
As you probably already know, heat pumps don’t rely on burning fuel to generate heat. Instead, they evaporate and condense refrigerant to move preexisting heat from one place to another. The refrigerant is not consumed during the process, but is endlessly recycled throughout the system while it’s operating. If a leak develops in the refrigerant line, it will drain the system of the fluid it needs to operate properly. This will result in a steady decline in heating output, followed by multiple parts breaking down, and finally a full-system breakdown. If you notice liquid dripping from your heat pump, call for repairs right away.
Broken Air Handler
Just like any forced air system, a heat pump relies on an air handler to circulate air throughout the house. This air handler is equipped with oiled bearings, designed to reduce the stress on the motor. Over time, however, these bearings wear down and need to be replaced. As the bearings wear down, the friction on the motor increases and produces a grinding sound. If the bearings aren’t replaced in time, the motor will burn out. Call for repairs as soon as you hear a grinding sound coming from your heat pump.