Heat pumps are placed under a lot of stress throughout the year, but especially during the summer and winter seasons. If you’re using a heat pump for climate control this winter, you need to keep an eye out for problems that might develop. Earlier problem detection means faster repairs, which means more damage prevented. Have a look at some of the warning signs that your heat pump is malfunctioning this winter.
Refrigerant is like the blood of the heat pump. It’s the fluid that the system evaporates and condenses to collect heat and then vent it somewhere else. The system recycles its refrigerant supply constantly, which means that a refrigerant leak will quickly begin to negatively impact the system’s operation. The lower the refrigerant level drops, the lower the heat pump’s output capacity will drop. At some point, the refrigerant level will drop so low that the heat pump will break down entirely. Make sure that you call for repairs as soon as you notice fluid dripping from your heat pump.
Clogged Air Filter
The air filter is the part of the heat pump designed to protect the system from the kinds of contaminants commonly found in a home’s ducts. The filter does this job well, but it will become clogged if it isn’t replaced every three months or so. A clogged air filter will prevent a lot of air from flowing into the heat pump from the ducts. This cuts down on the system’s output capacity significantly, and can also cause problems later on. Make sure you change the air filter for your heat pump every three months, or have a professional replace it for you.
Short cycling is one of those problems that seems innocuous at first, but can cause an immense amount of damage if it’s not repaired in time. Short cycling is when your heat pump turns itself on and off every couple of minutes, rather than completing a full heating cycle the way it’s designed to. This prevents the system from heating properly, but it also increases the amount of wear and tear the system accumulates over a short period of time. If the issue isn’t fixed, it will make the heat pump more likely to break down and will shorten its lifespan. So, make sure that you call for repairs if you notice this happening.
Air Handler Issues
If your heat pump is making a loud grinding sound during operation, or it isn’t circulating enough air, you might have an air handler problem. The air handler is the part of the heat pump responsible for blowing air through the ducts during operation. If the air handler fails, the system won’t be able to heat or cool the home. So, if you notice those symptoms make sure that you have a technician look at the system as soon as possible.